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Persuasion Paperback – November 29, 2014
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[Coralie Bickford-Smith's] recent work for Penguin Classics is...nothing short of glorious --Anna Cole
About the Author
One of England s most beloved authors, Jane Austen wrote such classic novels as Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. Published anonymously during her life, Austen s work was renowned for its realism, humour, and commentary on English social rites and society at the time. Austen s writing was supported by her family, particularly by her brother, Henry, and sister, Cassandra, who is believed to have destroyed, at Austen s request, her personal correspondence after Austen s death in 1817. Austen s authorship was revealed by her nephew in A Memoir of Jane Austen, published in 1869, and the literary value of her work has since been recognized by scholars around the world.
Top customer reviews
If you don't know the story, it's about Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth. The couple fell in love when Anne was very young, and unfortunately, circumstances and choices caused them to go separate directions. Several years later Captain Wentworth reappears on the scene, but instead of courting Anne, he begins to court her cousin. Will they end up together??
I love this story because Anne is so compassionate and kind throughout the entire book. She doesn't have long pity parties or lament her life choices. She accepts responsibility for her actions and does her best to be kind to those around her, even when they aren't kind to her. However, I do not think she is week. She knows who she is and doesn't let her family control who choices. All of the characters are well-written and developed. There are several different little storylines that occur throughout the book, which keep it interesting.
And the characters...The novel may be short, per Austen's standards, but Anne, her family, her friends, Captain Wentworth...They're all full-fledged characters that make sense, that seem real, and that could very well fit reality.
Misunderstandings, errors in judgment, mistakes made...Yet hope is never lost. And Anne is unwavering with her feelings for Wentworth, despite his nonchalance and distance. Yes, at times it would make more sense for her to just move on, but that's not the sort of love Austen was writing about with her.
Anne's only got one soulmate, and it was just a matter of time until he realized and acted on the forgiveness.
They both grow throughout the novel, especially if we consider the "eight years before."
I can read this book over and over again and never get tired.
And the letter...I just with someone would write something like that to me.
Persuasion is a novel filled with hope, love, and great characters.
The other problem I had with the book was that it recycled ideas from Pride and Prejudice: the totally nice and polite guy is actually a jerk in disguise. I felt adding that twist in the book was completely unnecessary but I'll grant that maybe completely destroying the guy's reputation was necessary for an 18th century audience who might need more convincing that marriage for love is better than a marriage for money.
In conclusion: shallow characters, predictable plot, a bit boring.
Anne was very wise and introspective, and while it works great later in the story, in the beginning, I came about half an inch from reaching into the book and cuffing her a good one. Seriously, quit with the pity party Miss Elliot and quit sabotaging yourself.
Seems that there were quite a lot of serendipitous plot engines, too. I had a wee bit of trouble suspending my disbelief in some of the more convenient circumstances that occurred later on, and while a little bit of coincidence is never a bad thing, when multiple instances of situations reading like they were manufactured with the express purpose of working out something mentioned no more than two pages (or paragraphs) back, I start to feel like I'm being forced at gun point over a rickety bridge of plot points rather than being gently guided along a carefully crafted path of meticulously arranged thoughts to the inevitable, but still rewarding conclusion.
If you have to read this for some strange reason, I'm sorry for you. You'll have to commit to the beginning. If you're reading for leisure, suffer chapters one and perhaps two, then skim the next eight or ten. You won't miss too much, and the writing becomes much more tolerable thereafter. And, if I'm wrong and you find yourself lost, skip to the last three chapters, because they're all anyone ever read this book for to begin with, and you'll get a fairly good summation of it therein.