This is my favorite of Jane Austen’s novels, which is saying a bunch, because I love Jane Austen. The development of her characters alone is something to be praised, but then her writing is beautiful, her characters are awesome and jump off the page, she is awesome.
Persuasion is a story of love gone wrong, and the couple’s chance to make it right years later. Captain Wentworth is one of my absolute literary crushes; he could sweep me off to sea any day. I always identify with Anne, though I am more selfish than her, certainly. Anne is far too selfless, she becomes a rug for half the book.
I think my favorite part about Persuasion is how Anne and Wentworth change. Anne gets a back bone, but in the best way. She is still quiet, still kind, soft spoken, but she allows herself to make decisions that others may not agree with. I love when she quietly disagrees with people near the end of the book. Wentworth realizes how resentful he has been, and how it has blinded him to the fact that he is still in love with her.
His speech near the end (in the form of a letter) is one of the most beautiful things ever written:
”I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes?”
Just gorgeous. It makes my soul sigh. *Applaud the genius of Austen*
As I sing this book’s praises, obviously it receives 5 stars.