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"Persuasion" by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane AustenPersuasion may be downloaded for free from our ebooks catalog.

This was Jane Austen's last book, but being so short and sweet it could serve as a nice introduction to her other novels. The story revolves around Anne Eliot. She comes from a distinguished family, however her father has long been living beyond his means and the family is forced to make reductions in their extravagant lifestyle. Anne begins to see the fallacy behind her family's pretenses and starts to place less weight on their ideas and opinions and more on her own. Her transformation is especially clear when she comes into contact with a former love who she rejected eight years ago after being persuaded that the match was not ideal. Now he is much more rich and "suitable" but no longer interested. Moving from regret to jealousy to acceptance, Anne experiences a far wider range of emotions than we see in other Austen characters. At 27, Anne is also far older and more mature in outlook. She hopes for a second chance at love, but is not expecting it.

Austen wrote Persuasion while suffering from an illness that would be her last. Many say that the book is unfinished--judging from the length, Austen probably did not have time to add her usual embellishments to the story. However this does not detract from the story, which is simple yet honest. A refreshing departure from Austen's usual stories of love in the first blossom of youth. It is a pity that she could not explore this theme more.

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