Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Persuasion by Jane Austen

persuasion1.jpgWell I finally did it after all these years - I read my first Jane Austen book! And it really wasn't all that painful of an experience. I actually enjoyed it. Persuasion was Jane Austen's final novel and from what I gather, it's not her most popular work, but it was one that I can see as being important during it's time....and very entertaining. I chose to read it simply because it was one of Austen's works that I hadn't seen a film version of. I hate reading a book when I've already seen a movie version and know the basic plot. Now I can't wait to watch the older BBC version of Persuasion as I love their Austen films. I'm not going to go to deep into the plot of Persuasion (if you want a good synopsis/more thoughts you can read this wonderful review of Eva's or this excellent review of Bookfool's) but the book centers on a young lady named Anne Elliot who was in love with Frederick Wentworth but then persuaded out of that love by a family friend, Lady Russell. Eight years later, she wants to rekindle that love. There's lots more involved with other family members and houses being rented out, etc. but Anne's story is what kept me reading. This is a book about learning to follow one's heart and being true to yourself. The word "persuasion" is used repeatedly in the book as nearly all of the characters are persuaded by some outside force to do something that does not benefit them. Austen shows us that true happiness is achieved by being independent, breaking away from societies persuasions...certainly something that still carries meaning today. I'll definitely be reading more Austen. I wouldn't say that she's become one of my favorite authors after reading this, but I enjoyed it enough. I have Northanger Abbey sitting on my shelf and I'll most likely pull that one out around RIP III time as I've heard it has a more gothic feel to it. Sorry for the short review, tired here :p

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