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Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anne Elliot is the daughter of a peacock of a baronet. She had a chance to marry Captain Wentworth when they were both young, but her family and friends talked her out of the match. Now that she's twenty-eight and still single, he has retired from the sea and re-enters her circle of acquaintances.

My favorite Austen! Captain Wentworth! *sigh* Or is it *swoon*?

This was a nice blend of Austen's pointed social commentary and a (bitter)sweet romance. Anne's family is just awful. They are silly, vain and entirely too class-conscious. They insist on their "inferiors" showing them the proper amount of deference and later spend their time toadying up to those of a higher rank. They aren't really very happy but they're so self-obsessed that they don't even consciously notice it. One of Anne's sisters shows her discontent by always forcing those around her to pay constant attention to her. She's more childish than her children! I was ready to smack her. And her other sister. And her father. Hmmm. I think that's everybody.

Anne, by contrast, is practical, sympathetic, and down-to-earth. She sweetly tries to rein in her family's sillier tendencies while also trying to do her best by those around her, no matter their "station." She's the one with a cool head who can be relied upon when crises arise. She's the one who can be relied upon to nurse those who are injured or ill. She's also the quiet one, so I was worried that she would never have the courage to go after what she wanted.

And then there's Captain Wentworth, my new book crush. I've never been crazy about Mr. Darcy and Company (*gasp*  The horror!), but Wentworth is the Austen hero for me. He's always polite, a good conversationalist, manly, a war hero, and protective of the women in his circle. This was about four stars for me until right at the very end, then Wentworth pulled out all the stops, my heart fluttered, and the rating came solidly to rest at a five. Men should read at least the last couple of chapters of this book if they want to know what women want from them.

You know already if you're an Austen fan or not, so there's not much point in my saying who will like this. I will say that I'm glad that Misty shoved this at me encouraged me to finally read this.

Jennifer G.


  1. Persuasion was the first Austen novel I ever read, and I think it will always be special to me because it was the first time I fell in love with her stories.

    Masterpiece Classics (on PBS) just started airing their Persuasion series. I have it on DVR, but haven't started watching it yet. You might want to check it out!

  2. =D I wish I knew how to make an even bigger smiley face. Doesn't this book just make you melt inside? I adore Anne and Capt. Wentworth, and I get all fluttery as soon as they enter Bath, because I know the letter is coming. God, I love this book. I'm glad that it met expectations for you. I was worried my *recommending* (shoving) would make you expect too much (not that you can with this book) and you'd be a little let down.
    So now you have a new crush for next years Vday lit crushes... ;p

  3. Misty--"Melt inside" Yes. Absolutely! That letter was just perfect! My expectations weren't too high. I really like Austen, but I'm not her biggest fan, so I wasn't really expecting to love this like I did. I should never doubt your judgment, even the teeniest bit! :-)

    Juju, you should read it! It is so, so good. Misty, you should push it on Juju next!

    Alison, I did not know that. I added the 1995 movie to my Netflix queue (that's the trailer I posted), but it looks like they changed things a little bit. There's a shot of Anne on a ship with Captain Wentworth! I'll have to keep an eye out for the PBS version. I hope you like it!

  4. I really need to read some Austen! I only read Emma, which I loved tremendously! I think I should read her other works too!

  5. Emma isn't one of my favorites, so I'd be interested to see if you like the others even more. You should definitely pick up more of her work, Aths!

  6. I'm planning finally to read Persuasion.
    I've watched only the movies & they're my favorite from Jane Austen :)

  7. I hope you like it, Aleksandra! It was my favorite Austen book so far.

  8. You know, I honestly can't remember if I ever read Persuasion, but I do know that the 1995 movie is my absolute favorite movie ever! I've read every other Austen novel so I'm thinking I'd better get to reading Persuasion!

    Glad you enjoyed the book!

  9. I saw that one shortly after reading this! I liked it, but I did like the book better.


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