2016 Reading Challenge: Persuasion

The category of book I’ve been reading the last two weeks is: A classic novel. The book I chose for this category was Persuasion. Below you’ll find some information about the book, a summary, and some closing thoughts. If you’d like to skip straight to my ratings, click here.

Bibliographic Information: Austen, Jane. Persuasion. (I read the public domain kindle edition published May 2012). John Murray: 1817.

Summary: Anne was in love when she was twenty, and Captain Wentworth was in love with her. Their match, however, was not one that society approved of. He left in the Queen’s Navy and now he’s back–eight years later. Anne’s worry, however, was whether or not her eight years older self would be quite desirable to Captain Wentworth or not. And besides, Mr. Elliot was quite desirable and perfect in every way; or was he? Persuasion offers a glimpse into the lives of Miss Anne Elliot and her family who leaves their estate because of liberal spending. We see flashes of her interactions in society–with her friends, relations, and two possible loves.  On the one hand Mr. Elliot has seemingly perfect morals and a calm persona which could easily sweep Anne off her feet. On the other hand, she has a gut feeling that there may be a shadowy side to him that she would not approve of. Captain Wentworth, however would have all of her love if only she had not spurned him those eight years earlier. Can she discover the truth about Mr. Elliot? Will the older and more mature version of Miss Anne Elliot overcome eight years and previous refusal? Only society can decide.

Recommendation:

5/10 There was never a point in Persuasion where I thought, “I am really enjoying reading this.” I can only hope Miss Austen didn’t get to proof read it as many times as she hoped before she died and it was published posthumously. Sure, it contains its fair share of quips like, ‘The worst of Bath was the number of its plain women. He did not mean to say that there were no pretty women, but the number of the plain was out of all proportion.’ But the entire book was flitting from one scene to the other and always different characters–characters whom I never found quite likable. If you have your heart set on reading all of Jane Austen’s books, put this one in the middle so you are neither discouraged never to read another by reading it first nor leave with a bad taste of Miss Austen by reading it last.

I award Persuasion the “this book felt longer than Wentworth’s absence” ribbon.

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