Austen, Jane "Persuasion" - 1817
When it comes to a great author like Jane Austen, it is hard to pick your favourite. Some of her novels are quite different to her others, and Persuasion surely is one of them.
I have never read an Austen novel as a teen or young adult and so have always judged from the adult point of view. Maybe that's the reason why Persuasion is my favourite.
Jane Austen has always been critizised because she writes about people of a certain social status only. Yes, she does, and that's good. Because that was about the kind of people she knew, the kind of world she lived in. And that's why her novels are so great. She knows what she's writing about.
What I like most in Persuasion is the way she captured the problems women were facing at the time. Especially the part where she explains to Captain Harville the difference between men's and women's feelings and their way of living. I thought she managed to come across so well, you just could feel her thoughts.
And nobody ever said that her novels were historical ones. They are, but only of the small world she lived in and knew.
"Pride & Prejudic" is much more lively, "Emma" as well, and I love both of them. But if I was allowed to take one of Jane Austen's books only to a desert island, Persuasion it would be.
From the back cover: "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. "
We discussed this in our book club in February 2006.
I have reviewed "Persuasion" a second time as a member of The Motherhood and Jane Austen Book Club. Find that review here and a list of all my "motherhood" reviews here.
I read a lot of novels by or about Jane Austen. Find a link to all my reviews here.