Persuasion by Jane Austen

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Written at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Persuasion is a tale of love, heartache and the determination of one woman as she strives to reignite a lost love. Anne Elliot is persuaded by her friends and family to reject a marriage proposal from Captain Wentworth because he lacks in fortune and rank.

More than seven years later, when he returns home from the Navy, Anne realises she still has strong feelings for him, but Wentworth only appears to have eyes for a friend of Anne’s. Moving, tender, but intrinsically ‘Austen’ in style, with its satirical portrayal of the vanity of society in eighteenth-century England, Persuasion celebrates enduring love and hope.

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Persuasion by Jane Austen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Really enjoyed revisiting this one. I read it in high school as well as visiting passages as a topical study for a women’s studies course at university. This time around I listened via audiobook, narrated by Nadia May. Has an excellent reading voice but not utilized well with high register, near squeaky, balloon like, desperate tone for majority of dialogue at continuous strain, compared to the more narrative parts that I liked much better. All said, the audio narration was much improved as time went on and became much more pleasant to listed to and I did slow it down and speed it up at certain points. I’d recommend this book to anyone.

I read this one for SunBeamsJess Book Club.

The Story
It’s very forward thinking a for a book 200 years old. It’s one you don’t necessarily have to have a strong understanding of the period, just mere comparison to personal or societal circumstances which says a lot as both reference to past history for which the time it was written and modern sensibilities to give rich perspective and depth to both this book as a written piece and depiction of humanistic qualities both in their own right.

Over arching topics explore courtship, vulnerability of youth, peril of aging, and family dynamics. Character ambition, status, and social order.

The banter of the haves and have nots. Agreeable to objectionable. Income and style of living, extravagance. Domestic and working society.

Depicts the dance of social interaction, of finding intent, meaning, and perception, with the lining and sizing up of character and value in this precise manner yet appearing flawless, with ease, and in an unintentional way. Reading emotions and motive, waiting for the stars to align, in a laborious fashion, while also appearing effortless at the same time as to not over manipulate or influence the outcome too much.

Navigating social life and engagement, straddling between obligation and sense of self, attachment and vanity, happiness with outward appearance. Intent and sincerity, manner language. Examples of supporting the appearance of a gentleman, where the chambers are located which would be telling of a superior or inferior situation in society.

Averting a bad relationship. Connectivity amongst women, determining who has authoritative source, and how choosing a lifetime seals your fate in life. Risks of choosing a partner who lives a life at sea in service as wife of a Navy captain. Particularly exploring the Naval characteristics, the toil and labor of the mind with comparative professions, so described poisonous atmosphere and not a place for women and children, questionable if one should be married to one.

I thought it interesting to point out the memory recall for displeasurable circumstances.

The Writing
Loved the sass and satire in the writing, these mere observations that paint the characters and scene, taking them to a level of sharpness, elevation, and humility.

Setting this tone of unexpected depictions of people and atmosphere with shocking revelations as certain details are picked apart to give such an accurate and amusing quality.

Characterization
Very picturesque. The examples “”Everybody of any consequence or notoriety in Bath was well know by name to Mrs. Smith. ‘The little Durands were there, I conclude,” said she, “with their mouths open to catch the music, like unfledged sparrows ready to be fed. They never miss a concert.”” And lines such as spoiling children with trash and sweet things. An injured angry woman.

Depicted their interactions with enough narration and action to keep the story moving, even among the more mundane chit chat, kept it lively and fun.

My Favorite Lines
“What wild imaginations one forms where dear self is concerned! How sure to be mistaken!”

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