‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen *** (Austen in August)

August is already upon us, and the Austen in August project which is hosted by roofbeamreader has officially begun. I adore Jane Austen, but I still have not accomplished reading all of her works. So, Austen in August seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to do so.

I actually read Persuasion back in June, because it was the book I was mostly looking forward to and I simply couldn’t refrain from not reading it immediately, but I decided to save posting my review until the beginning of the project.9780141198835

Persuasion is Jane Austen’s last completed novel and one that slightly diverts from all her previous ones. The age of her main characters in this book is different, as they are in their late twenties to early thirties – something that must have been closer to Austen’s own age of the time this novel was being written, and also presumably reflective of the experiences and wisdom this age brings to a woman of her time.

I was prepared to adore this book, as I had heard fabulous things about it from other people that had read and loved it, but sadly it wasn’t able to fulfill all those high expectations of mine in the end. I loved the more mature perspective of the main character, Anne, and the idea of a second chance at love which permeated the novel.

Austen’s descriptions and prose were as delightful as ever, but I thought that the story was a lot slower than her other works I’ve read so far. I also loved how the tension of what will actually happen between Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth built up until the last chapters. This was the first Austen story, though, the ending of which gave me a feeling of insecurity as well.

The way Austen tackled issues of family bonds, social status, the power other people’s words have to manipulate one’s true feelings is wonderful as always. Despite the maturity with which this novel was written, one can clearly see all the characteristics of Jane Austen that have made her so loved to everyone who reads her novels.

I’m really glad I read this book, and, had it not been so slow, I would have definitely rated it higher. Apart from Austen in August, I also read it as part of my 20 Books of Summer and Reading England 2015 challenges.



reading england 1

16 thoughts on “‘Persuasion’ by Jane Austen *** (Austen in August)

  1. This is actually the only Austen novel I’ve enjoyed fully. I think I gave this 4 or 5 stars when I read it a few years ago. I have a very hit and miss relationship with her and I keep trying and I still don’t really enjoy her novels to the full extent that others seem to! I keep persevering and recently read Northanger Abbey which I did enjoy but Persuasion is the one Jane Austen book I remember fondly – the others have a cloud of gloom hanging over them in my memory!

    • I’m sorry that you haven’t had the best of experiences with Jane Austen’s novels, Ashleigh, but I completely understand what you mean. I hadn’t read them as a teenager, and if I had, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have appreciated them as much as I did now 🙂 I’m glad ‘Persuasion’ left you such a good impression, though! Maybe after I’ve read everything of hers, I might judge it under a new light 🙂

    • Thank you for the recommendation, Alex 🙂 I haven’t read much of Henry James, so I’ll add this one to my list.

      • My absolute favourite of his is The Bostonians. The social and political backdrop might not be for everyone but I love how it shapes and influences the characters and forces them into difficult personal decisions. Washington Square features a female character rarely seen in literature and focuses purely on a complex love triangle. It is a great introduction to Henry James.

  2. Ah, shame you didn’t quite get wrapped up in it! It’s my favourite Austen – and I don’t think just because of my age, because it was always my favourite. I think the ambiguity of the ending, the quieter pace, the less idealistic view of life and marriage always appealed to my ‘darker’ view of life.

    • I see what you mean, Marina. I really enjoyed those aspects of the novel as well, and how it seemed more mature and different from her other ones I’ve read so far. Maybe my mind will change upon a second reading of it 🙂

    • I guess my expectations of this novel were different. I’ve been persuaded to reread it after I complete all of her novels and see what I think about it then.

  3. I thought this was heartbreakingly beautiful…but I think my favourite Austen novel still has to be Sense and Sensibility. For Austen in August I’ve started reading Mansfield Park 🙂

    • I’m reading ‘Sense and Sensibility’ now and I’m really enjoying it 🙂 Great! I’m looking forward to see your thoughts on ‘Mansfield Park’ – it’s one of the 2 Austen novels that I have yet to read!

  4. Pingback: ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen **** | theliterarysisters

  5. Pingback: 20 Books of Summer Wrap-up (Akylina) | theliterarysisters

  6. Pingback: The Good, the Bad and the Unfinished of 2015 | theliterarysisters

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s