Although Persuasion, Jane Austen’s last completed novel, was first published in December of 1817, the year she died at age 41, I own this copy, published one hundred and eighty years later in 1997. It is one of my favorite Austen novels, and the most brief of her major works. It has been compared to Cinderella.
Miss Anne Elliot is the neglected, overlooked, and imposed-upon middle daughter of a vain baronet. In her youth she was engaged, but convinced by her family and the friend who advised her in the place of her dead mother, Lady Russell, to reject her suitor, a navy man with few prospects.
Eight years later, Anne is now twenty-seven and still single. When Captain Wentworth once again enters her life, he is a successful but resentful man who still holds a grudge against the woman who broke his heart. We know that love will rule the day, but are kept in some agony over the details. This is a cautionary tale about following your heart and believing in second chances.