Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Persuasion, 54/81, 2nd Round

Persuasion by Jane Austen, historical fiction category

Persuasion to me has seemed a little bit like the country cousin out of the Austen novels. Pride and Prejudice is the popular one, with all the movie adaptations and the novelizations and the good press. Emma is sort of a runner-up. It also has some good movie versions and a lot of humor and lighthearted fun. Sense and Sensibility is also popular.

But before last year, I knew nothing at all about Persuasion. I wasn't sure what the plot was; I never saw it on the big screen; I couldn't even tell you the main character's name. Then I saw the BBC version, the one with Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot. I was mesmerized.

In case you don't know the story either, Anne is the middle daughter in a very proud, very vain family. Anne has always been overlooked. She fell in love with a young navy officer when she was young. She was 'persuaded' to end the engagement, hence the title. They were both young, neither had any income, and her family was opposed to the match.

Eight years pass. She has not forgotten him, but has convinced herself that he has forgotten her. Then events conspire to bring them together again. Will she get a second chance?

I really loved the story. I only gave it 4 stars, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because the ending was a little weak. Austen didn't seem to find the right way to wrap things up and just sort of tacked on the last chapter. Then I have to admit that I preferred the more romantic ending in the TV version too. But it was really well done and I loved it.

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