Persuasion by Jane Austen

persuasion.jpgPenguin Books, 298 pages.

Before Helen Fielding, Louise Bagshawe, and all other chick-lit authors, there was Miss Jane Austen. To say that love stories are predictable is useless. For they are meant to be predictable, repetitive and familiar. It’s the ‘relatable’ factor, realness, and emotion –the ride to the predictable ending, that matters.

Persuasion’s plot rings many bells heard before. Anne Walter, the youngest and ‘underdog’ daughter of the pompous and vain Sir Walter Eliot, has rejected the man she loves because of peer, family, and social persuasion. (there goes the title)

Back in the time where social status, titles and roles are of utmost importance, it’s not really that hard to see how the quiet and sensible Anne has given in to outside influence.

Now, eight years later, her family has gone down (bankrupt–Jane Austen used another word that I forgot, of course). They are forced to move to the countryside and have their sprawling manor rented to a certain Admiral Croft.

A-ha. It turns out that Admiral Croft’s brother-in-law is Captain Wentworth–the very same man Anne has turned down, and her family has looked down on eight years ago.

Now a dashing and charming man, Wentworth wins the hearts of ladies, who are all eager to be married to a Captain. Given the small social circle they have, it was inevitable for Anne and Wentworth to bump into each other on several occassions.

Of course, they are apprehensive and more guarded (especially Wentworth). But in the end, it was Anne’s steady sensibility that rekindles them together.

I enjoyed this more than Emma–who (as a character) annoys me at times with her “wit” and stubborness. Anne is a more relatable character with her doubts, insecurities and inner charm.

There is a passing mention of Emma (the novel) in this book by the way.

Hail the queen of chick-lit, Jane Austen


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