To recap, my brother Zach and I decided one of our projects for the remainder of the year was going to be to read all six of Jane Austen's novels. We created our own, two person book club. The Jane Austen Book Club.
"Persuasion" was our first pick. My pick, actually. I was pretty excited to read this one. I'd heard good things about it. Zach and I had our book discussion just today and we bantered about different things that I thought I'd share with you. Feel free to answer any of the questions in a comment of your own if you've read the book and wish to join in. If you haven't read the book, then I forewarn you here and now. There are spoilers ahead.
K: Anne. Okay, I know, she was the main character. But she was pretty awesome, you've got to admit. So calm and collected even though she was surrounded by chaos nearly all the time.
Z: Captain Wentworth.
Least favorite character?
K: Mary. She drove me batty most of the book. I found her really very selfish and ready to push off any responsibility (including her children) onto Anne or some other willing soul as soon as she got the chance.
Z: Sir Walter. He didn't even like his own daughter! His only concern was his wealth and making a name for himself in society.
What makes the book different than other works of Austen?
We haven't read many of her other books but we've seen several movies. We noticed that in this one Anne is older. She's nearly 30 and not in her prime, unlike other characters in Austen's books.
K: Forgiveness towards Lady Russell. When Anne and Captain Wentworth were engaged the first time, Lady Russell was the one who advised Anne against it. In the long run, it was the wrong advice to give. But Anne didn't hold that lost time against her. Lady Russell was Anne's best friend in the book.
Z: Anne was lacking a mother figure and didn't have all that great of a father and yet she was still so polite and just an all around great young lady. She was her own person, and though she did take advice from others, she didn't let any one control her.
Least favorite scene/thing?
K: The conversation with Mrs. Smith over the character of Mr. Elliot. Mrs. Smith's part of this conversation just didn't sit right with me. The first thing that pops out of her mouth about Mr. Elliot when she thinks Anne is engaged to him is selfish. Instead of having Anne's well being at heart and warning her right off about Mr. Elliot's character, it was all about what she might gain.
Z: The ending. Of course I liked that Anne and Wentworth got together in the end, but I wish Austen had written dialogue instead of narrating their walk together.
Thoughts on Mr. Elliot...
We both thought that Austen might have had a twist in the book and have Anne end up with Mr. Elliot. Though neither of us wanted it. We were slightly surprised when he ended up having an underlying reason for being friends with the Elliot family.
Both of our favorite quotes came from Captain Wentworth's letter to Anne.
K: "I have loved none but you."
Z: "You pierce my soul."
I hope you enjoyed this little Jane Austen review. More to come as we move onto our second book..."Emma".