The last novel completed by Jane Austen before her death at 41, Persuasion
is often thought to reflect on the author’s own lost love.
Sir Walter Elliot has raised his three daughters with his own sense of haughty pride. Elizabeth, at twenty-eight, has found no one good enough to marry, while Mary has, with some condescension, married the son of the local squire. The youngest, Anne, was persuaded to throw off her fiancé eight years ago due to his lowly station in life. When Captain Frederick Wentworth returns from the Napoleonic Wars a man of wealth and rank, Anne must confront her remorse and her unrequited love for him as he courts another woman. This is a story of second chances, humility, and the perseverance of love.
Anne Elliot, heroine of Austen's last novel, did something we can all relate to: Long ago, she let the love of her life get away. In this case, she had allowed herself to be persuaded by a trusted family friend that the young man she loved wasn't an adequate match, social stationwise, and that Anne could do better. The novel opens some seven years after Anne sent her beau packing, and she's still alone. But then the guy she never stopped loving comes back from the sea. As always, Austen's storytelling is so confident, you can't help but allow yourself to be taken on the enjoyable journey.