Persuasion is probably the last Jane Austen book I have read. And now I wonder why. I liked Anne Elliot a lot, and also the story itself. Maybe it is because Anne is much older, and has already experienced the follies of youth. She is no meddling Emma for sure. Nor is she prejudiced like Liz Bennet.
The Elliots of Kellynch Hall are facing straitened circumstances and rent out their property to an Admiral. Elizabeth and her father, Sir Elliot are big on appearances and the younger child Anne has been largely ignored by them, especially after the death of Lady Elliot. Anne had a thing for a young man years ago, but was discouraged by Lady Russell, her mother’s friend. Eight years later, the young man is a Captain in the Navy with a fortune, and turns out to be related to the Admiral. Inevitably, Anne has to face him. Anne’s other sister Mary lives in Uppercroft, and is happily married with kids. She has two sisters by marriage, and Anne spends time with them while her father and sister move to Bath. Anne meets Captain Wentworth, her old beau, but he seems to be courting the Musgrove sisters. On an outing, Anne meets another dashing captain, and is attracted to him.
An unfortunate accident splits up the party, and Anne goes to Bath where she meets her father’s heir, who is very interested in her. Are things as they seem, or does the younger Mr. Elliot have any ulterior motive behind courting Anne? What of the feelings that have resurfaced after meeting Captain Wentworth?
Anne realizes she made a mistake early in life, based on the persuasion of someone she respected. She is determined not to be swayed again, especially now that she is much older and wiser. As Anne battles with conflicting feelings, she is ready to face the consequences of her decision.
Two hundred years later, I can relate to Anne Elliot. And that is why Persuasion by Jane Austen is a classic piece of literature. This public domain book is yours to enjoy for free.