Anne Elliott, age nineteen, becomes engaged to Frederick Wentworth, a sailor with neither family or fortune. Anne's friend Lady Russell tells Anne that she is outraged and that Anne should set her sights higher since she is a baronet's daughter. Eight years later, Anne has settled into a quiet life as a spinster. She is overlooked by her older sister and her father. Lady Russell remains her only true friend. Anne's father's lavish ways catch up with him and the family is forced to leave their beloved Kellynch Hall and move to Bath. The new tenants of Kellynch Hall just happen to be Admiral and Mrs.. Croft - the sister and brother in law on the now Captain Frederick Wentworth. The Captain has now amassed his fortune, but he scarcely seems to notice Anne at all. Anne has remained in the area for a while as a guest of her sister Mary. It is about this time that Anne attracts the attention of her cousin William, who is also her father's heir. Anne is polite to William, but knows she will only ever love one man - her Frederick. Anne can't help watching him to see if he's looking at her and listening for any word from him. The remainder of the story involves interesting side plots, twists and turns while we wait to see if true love conquers all in the end.
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.