Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Book Review: Persuasion by Jane Austen

If you have not read this book, you are missing out more then I can say. This book makes me as giddy as any chick-flick does, and also comes with literary merit.

There are so many things Jane Austen does right. In all of her books, but in Persuasion in particular, she is the master of subtext, and everything her characters say or do, every line, glance, and expression means infinitely more then it seems to. Watching people movie in this incredibly intricate society using only these subtextual words and glances is, to me, fascinating.

She captures feelings so well. In reading her books I often find myself wishing I could express how I felt as eloquently as her. In Persuasion, the tension starts on page one, so the complicated, passionate and intense emotions fill the entire book. There is not a moment between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth that doesn't leave the reader as quivering with emotion as it does Anne.

And speaking of Anne Elliot, let me just say that the list of literary heroines on her level is incredibly small. Her goodness, intelligence, and particularly her affection make her an absolutely adorable character. I don't know anyone who couldn't use a little Anne Elliot in them. Captain Wentworth is almost deserving of her. But, as he so sweetly and sincerely states, "I must learn to brook being happier than I deserve."

Any of you who have read Persuasion, what are your thoughts? Did you find it as brilliant as I did?

Sarah Allen

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