Reading Challenge 2016: Book 15 – Persuasion by Jane Austen


(My Rating: 3/5)

I am disappointed that I am unable to give this a higher rating than 3 stars, because I thought I was really going to love this book. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood when I read it!

Anne Elliot, who was being courted by Captain Wentworth, was persuaded by a close family friend, Lady Russell, not to marry him, as she didn’t think it a suitable match, mainly because they came from different social backgrounds.

The book begins eight years later, when the two former lovers are brought into each other’s company once again. Now Captain Wentworth is courting someone else and Anne, wisened by the interim years, begins to examine the reasons that her relationship with him did not go any further. The reader now begins to wonder whether there is a chance that they will get back together again.

I liked the concept of the story – choosing to go with what society (or a close friend) expects or suggests, or choosing what you believe is the best for your life and going with your ‘gut feeling’. Many of the themes, such as class distinction and the behaviour and attitudes that they bring about, are relevant even today. In that sense many of the characters could very well be people you would meet in this day and age. Perhaps that is part of what makes Jane Austen’s novels timeless. I thought her character sketches, especially those of Sir Walter and Mary Elliot, were brilliantly done.

In Persuasion there are many examples of the concept of ‘showing, not telling’ while writing a story and, as an aspiring author, I found the novel educative from that perspective.

I am not entirely sure why I didn’t love the book more! I shall perhaps give it another read sometime in the future.

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