Synopsis from Goodreads:
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
Jane Austen once compared her writing to painting on a little bit of ivory, 2 inches square. Readers of Persuasion will discover that neither her skill for delicate, ironic observations on social custom, love, and marriage nor her ability to apply a sharp focus lens to English manners and morals has deserted her in her final finished work.
I kind of debated on posting this, because Jane Austen doesn’t exactly need any publicity from me. Plus, what else is there to say that hasn’t already been said?
That being said, I decided to post a mini-review! Something short and simple to try to persuade (haha? see what I did there?) other people to read it.
Because I loved this book! It was the only Jane Austen book that I hadn’t finished reading yet. I had picked it up and put it back down several times, never getting past the first few chapters.
I am so glad that I finally did, though!
I got this as an audiobook from Audible as a way to slowly test out the audiobook waters. (And then immediately got another audiobook that was 17 hours long. Note to self, never do that again). The narration was engaging and I really enjoyed hearing some of the humor of Austen’s work read out loud instead of on the page!
As for the book itself, it felt so different from Austen’s other work but in a fantastic way. The heroine, Anne, is 27, so she’s basically a spinster by the time the story starts (could you imagine?). I loved the idea of her reigniting an old love instead of developing a new one, as so often happens in Austen stories. I’m no Austen scholar by any means, but this book felt a little more mature than some of her others, save maybe Emma. (P&P, don’t worry, you’re still my favorite!)
Of course, it was full of misunderstandings between Anne and Captain Wentworth, comical side characters, and other great Austen-tatious stuff. If you enjoy a good romance, definitely don’t miss out on this one! If you’re like me and couldn’t get past the beginning, it’s definitely worth persevering.
Would I recommend this as a first introduction to Austen? Not necessarily, I’d probably recommend Pride and Prejudice or Emma for the first-time Austen reader. But Persuasion has a more mature, subdued vibe that I really enjoyed.
Have you read Persuasion? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!