Publisher: Project Gutenberg
Publication Date: 1818
Series or Standalone: Standalone
The Author on the Web:
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First Line: Sir Walter Elliot, of Kellynych Hall, in Somersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but the Baronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties were roused into admiration and respect by contemplating the limited remnant of the earliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt as he turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if every other leaf were powerless, he could read his own history with an interest which never failed.
You know, I never fully realized just how long winded dear Jane Austen could be sometimes until I typed out the opening to Persuasion. Whew…so many words and I don’t think any modern publisher would let an author run on so. But if I had a choice I wouldn’t change a single word that Austen wrote because her books are near on perfection. I love everything that Jane Austen wrote and re-read her books often. With every re-read its like visiting with an old friend and I get the feeling of coming home. Persuasion is one my favorite of Austen’s books but its been many years since I last read it. Time and review commitments make it harder to re-read books these days. But when I heard that Diana Peterfreuend’s For Darkness Shows the Stars was a Persuasion retelling I thought that now would be the perfect time to re-read it.
As always, Austen has an amazing gift for setting up a family unit. There were times when her narration was a little dry as it could use more dialogue but once you get used to her style you just become lost in her words. My heart breaks for Anne Elliot who listened to the advice of those she felt were older and wiser than her and made a decision that she soon came to regret. This becomes all the more apparent when her childhood love returns to town seven years later proving that he did all he said he would and just plain making her miserable. People think that a woman scorned is a bad thing…well men…they can be just as petty my friends.
But this wouldn’t be a Jane Austen novel if there wasn’t some sort of personal feeling to over come. In Pride & Prejudice the characters must learn to see beyond their perceived notions and look at people as who they are and not who one thinks they should be. Here in Persuasion they must all over come the hurt feelings and prejudices of the past. People change and with time one can often better understand why a decision was made in the past. But you need to be able to lay aside your preconceived notions to do so.
I really love Anne and Captain Wentworth’s relationship. They are just so hurt and so heartbreakingly real. And that letter…you know the one…damn…that just gets me EVERY DAMN TIME!!! I love Darcy’s declaration of love and proposal to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice but it just doesn’t compare to the passion that is in that letter. The raw emotion and feeling that fills such a short amount of the page. Ladies, we’d all be very lucky to have a letter written for us that was half as passionate.
Its hard to talk about Persuasion and come up with something new. This is a book that most people know about in some form or other. Its a classic and its a classic for a reason as its story withstands the test of time. Anyone who reads it can relate to the issues found in its pages. Most people have made a decision and than came to regret it. The question then becomes…if you had the chance to change that decision…would you? Anne and Captain Elliot have to ask themselves that very question and what they decide might surprise you. I loved this book and I highly recommend it. I think that it gets better with each re-read and if you haven’t read it yet then you are really missing out. This is definitely a book I wish I could read again for the first time.