Persuasion by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Someone asked me sometime ago, “How do you feel when you’re talking to him? Do you feel any of the old feelings you had?” I answered, “Fine, we’re just like old friends now. He’s got his life, I have mine.” I meant it I certainly have no desire to ‘rekindle’ anything or to even want or wish for anything more than just friendship now. I am happy with my life, where I am, who I’m with.

BUT…

You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Now here are the what ifs. What if I listened to everyone instead of my misguided sensibility? What if I married him instead? What if I didn’t ever meet my husband now? Where would we all be today?

Sounds very much like a Jane Austen novel, doesn’t it? I guess that’s why so many of us can still relate with stories that happened generations ago. Whatever the setting and the circumstances, some things in life like love and death will always be universal.

The first book tackled by the Online Jane Austen Book Club is Persuasion. This book is about Ann Elliott a twenty seven year old single woman from a distinguished family. Eight years prior, she fell in love with a young man who her family, particularly her godmother, Lady Russel objected to as being below Anne’s social status. A theme that is common of the times and reccuring in almost all of Jane Austen’s novels, this class difference.  Anne resignedly followed their advice and gave up Frederick Wentworth. Eight years later, Anne is still unmarried, still catering to her family. Despite herself, she quietly followed the career of her old flame. She knows he has succeeded in gaining a fortune as he once promised her and is still unmarried. She is resigned, however, that things are over between them, that he would never forgive her rejecting him.

Things become complicated when Captain Wentworth  comes back into Anne’s life, and suddenly because of his title and wealth, he is now suitable for one of Anne’s class and background. Only now he is interested in a younger woman, the sister of Anne’s brother-in-law. Is it too much to hope that the mutual feelings of old is still there, buried under resentment and regrets?

Is it possible to simply pick up where one left off? Sometimes yes and sometimes no. But, this is a Jane Austen novel so you can almost predict it will have a happy resolution. It just wouldn’t have done to leave Anne a spinster with much to regret of the past and envy in the future of her Captain Wentworth with someone else. No that wouldn’t do at all.

Join the Jane Austen Book Club Online and check what other members thought of this book.

3 thoughts on “Persuasion by Jane Austen

  1. Your introductory narrative so catched me! I am avoiding “what ifs”, but it’s really hitting us at least once. It’s understandable when people keeps an old flame when the other party is still unmarried. Just like in this novel. 😉

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