It took me three long months to finally pick up this book and give it a read. I had a minor reading block a couple months back, and it was not pretty. Alas, I managed to finish it up in the end, and that's all that matters right?!
Unlike my previous book review that I did a month ago, of Charlotte Brontë's book 'The Professor' which was a bit of a 'meh' read, this book by Austen did it for me from Page 1. Persuasion by Jane Austen has got to be my second favorite book by her (P&P is my first favorite, of course!). The book itself is not as long as P&P (read my review here). Which is why I managed to finish it in just a couple of days instead of a few weeks.
The book is told in a third person perspective, which can get quite confusing at times, but I got the hold of it in the end. Now, literature books always leave me quite confused with the characters's names, as some of them have the same ones. After I got ahold of each of their names and characters into my head, the reading process went on smoothly. Complications aside, let's get on with the review shall we?!
This is a second chance romance book, which I don't about you, is my type of romance. There's just something about rekindling loves after years of not seeing each other that leaves this gooey fluffy feeling inside my heart. Basically eight years prior before the book takes place, Anne was engaged to Commander Frederick Wentworth; she was then 19 years old, so when her father (Sir Walter Elliot), sister (Elizabeth) and her surrogate mother of sort (Lady Russell) didn't approve of the engagement, she was persuaded by them to end it and listened to their command. Their disapproval of Commander Wentworth was because not wealthy yet at the time and his rank didn't bode particularly well with an Elliot from Kellynch Hall, which was their family estate.
Eight years later, Sir Walter Elliot found himself in debt and in these circumstances, he had to rent out Kellynch Hall. The Elliots then had to move to stay in Bath until their financial problems were at bay. The year that the book took place was when a war came to an end, and so a lot of soldiers were back in English soil. The tenant of Kellynch Hall was Admiral Croft and his wife, Sophia. Sophia is the sister of *surprise surprise* Captain Frederick Wentworth. Whilst Sir Walter and Elizabeth made it to Bath, Anne decided to stay a while at Uppercross, where her other sister, Mary lived with her husband, Charles Musgrove.
Summarization aside, because I don't want this to sound like a friggin' English assignment, Anne and Captain Wentworth were then acquainted once again. He showed no signs of distress or any type of emotion towards their first meeting after seven years of last seeing each other, and that brought Anne to a stand still. I totally get why Captain Wentworth was cold towards Anne; after all, she did end the engagement.
There's a lot of angst and a teensy bit of drama in the book, which I enjoyed. The angst was one of the things I loved in this book, because Miss Austen depicted Anne's longing for Captain Wentworth in a rightfully manner. And to make matters worse for Anne, Captain Wentworth started courting a younger woman who by the way, was Anne's sister-in-law. Oh the joy of living in the 19th century! As this was the case, they were quite a tight knit group and traveled together. I don't know about you, but if my former lover started dating my sister-in-law/a relative of mine for that matter, I would be heartbroken. And a little damaged too.
Unlike Elizabeth in Pride & Prejudice, who was only 20 years old in the book, Anne was 27 years old which meant that she was more mature and thought of things in detail before coming to a conclusion about anything. So instead of bursting into tears and making irrational tantrums to see her former love courting another woman, she took it in good stride. As Persuasion was Miss Austen's last completed novel, therefore making her wrote in her later years in life, she created Anne as a much more mature woman (as Jane was too, I assumed), instead of a 19 or 20 year old girl like she did with Elizabeth from Pride & Prejudice. Whereas Elizabeth was headstrong and more opinionated about certain situation or people; Anne was reasonable and level headed in her choices in life.
As a tragedy occurred in the book, and Captain Wentworth was an eligible bachelor yet again, that's when the story between he and Anne started to sizzle up. There were a lot of pleasant conversations between the two, a lot of longing looks towards each other, and well lookio, in the end they ended up together yet again, for good. The letter that Captain Wentworth professed his love for her almost brought me to tears. His love for her was so deep, and I could actually feel the emotions that he went through whilst writing it. It was in one word: beautiful.
The story had a lot of traveling happening around, and I really loved it. I managed to imagine myself strolling around Bath, Uppercross and Lyme so well whilst reading it. It was all so vivid, and right now, I really wish I could fly out to Bath and stroll down Gay Street and imagine myself as Anne, searching for her Captain Wentworth. (A girl can imagine right?!)
I loved that in the end, Anne got to make her own choices and forgo what everyone thought of it. Lady Russell, who advised Anne to break off her engagement eight years prior admitted that she was wrong about Captain Wentworth after all. I was so happy that Anne and Captain Wentworth were finally reconciled (for good this time!) after a lot of heartache and longing they had to go through.
Overall, twas a good read and one that I recommend you guys to read! Trust me on this one; just a warning though, there are a lot of heartaches you'll encounter whilst reading it. Worth it though!
OVERALL RATING: ❤︎❤︎❤︎❤︎ / 5.
Here are my favorite quotes from the book:
- "You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. I have loved none but you."
- "Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not."
- "His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than anything."
- "The last few hours were certainly painful," replied Anne: "but when pain is over, the remembrance of it often becomes a pleasure. One does not love a place the less for having suffered in it, nothing but suffering-"
- "I walk; I prefer walking."
- "What! Would I be turned back from doing a thing that I had determined to do, and that I knew to be right, by the airs and interference of such a person, or any person I may say? No, I have no idea of being so easily persuaded. When I have made up my mind, I have made it."
- "The one claim I shall make for my own sex is that we love longest, when all hope is gone."
- "My idea of a good company, Mr. Elliot, is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company."
- "I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days."
- "Time will explain."
- "Facts or opinions which are to pass through the hands of so many, to be misconceived by folly in one and ignorance in another, can hardly have much truth left."
Much love, Ashley xx
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, by Ashley Christabelle