Monday, June 7, 2010

Jane Austen: Persuasion

Persuasion: A+
Anne Elliot & Captain Frederick Wentworth
Historical - British Regency

It would be untrue for me to say that I am a huge fan of Ms. Austen because the only other book of hers that I've read is... yes, you've guessed it: Pride and Prejudice. And while I love Mr. Darcy with all my heart, I couldn't bring myself to read any other of her novels for the same reason I dislike reading classic literature (the whole hard, heavy, dramatic, and stiff issue).

But I seem to have forgotten how delightful Ms. Austen's writing really is. It is witty. It is genuine. And she really speaks of the matters of the heart: real feelings, honest emotions, and humor.

I finished Persuasion over the weekend and I have pretty much made up my mind to go out all her other works (read: massive glommage).

Persuasion in a nutshell would be as follows: Anne and Wentworth ("Wentworth" sounds so much better than "Frederick" to me. hehe..) were young loves, she nineteen and he twenty-three when he proposed to her. Because of Anne's snobbish and utterly idiotic family opposed the match (he was poor and was not of significant social standing), Anne turned Wentworth down.

Heartbroken, betrayed, and angry, Wentworth departed for the navy where he worked up to the prestigious rank of Captain.

Eight years have now passed. Anne is a spinster, living underneath the shadows of her shallow father and older sister. Her younger sister, Mary, has married (a surprise to us all since she is completely whiny and annoying). Anne's father mismanaged his finances and the Elliots are required to move out of their home and put it up for rent. Surprisingly, Wentworth's sister and her husband move in.

And so! Wentworth comes back to town, to stay with his sister... and then! Anne and Wentworth meet again.

With Austen, a happily-ever-after cannot be guaranteed. Her stories, though focused on love and relationships, are not category romances... which makes it even more delicious. Austen realized, two hundred something years ago, that a happily-ever-after is not what is important, it is the love story between the hero and heroine that make the story worthwhile.

I lurve it!

Bottom line: Read!

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