Book Reviews

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I belong to the special sect of people who occasionally exclaim “Hmm, I need to read more classics” but never bother to read more than 2 or 3 classics per year. When you’re a stickler for finishing Goodreads reading challenges, a classic–which takes more reading time than, say, a YA book–will only slow you down. Or so I explain in a nasal voice every time someone replies to my exclamation with, “So, why don’t you?” *shrugs*

I may not read as many famous classics as I want to, but I’ve read a lot of Jane Austen’s works. I love Jane Austen, I love all her heroines, I love her books–did I tell you I love Jane Austen?

Putting all the rambling aside, I read Persuasion recently and I LOVED it. It’s definitely one of Austen’s best.

Goodreads synopsis:

2156Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?


This book has the usual staples of an Austen work–English customs, irony, and a heroine you cannot help but love. Seriously, I loved Anne, the main character! She’s 27, which in 19th century England meant that you were not fit to be part of the social world anymore.

8 years before the time in which the novel is set, Anne had rejected Captain Wentworth’s courtship after being persuaded by her friend that he had no means of supporting her. And now, guess who’s back, single, ready to mingle, and a Captain to boot?

Persuasion is about, well, persuasion. It’s about Lady Russell persuading Anne to give up on good ole Wentworth. It’s about Wentworth persuading himself that Anne didn’t love him enough. Do they find their way back to each other or each fall for someone else? That’s for you to find out!

What made me love this book even more was the gender roles and whiffs of post-colonial feminism. Mrs. Croft (Captain Wentworth’s sister-in-law) takes over the reins to their carriage from her husband. Lady Russell is shown to be fiercely independent and a well-read thinker. Anne is excellent in emergencies. Austen was really ahead of her time. If you haven’t read this book, please do!

Rating: 5 out of 5!


Have you read Persuasion before? What did you think of it? Also, my school never had the note-worthy classics as assigned reading. I wonder what English teachers would’ve said about this book. Did they ruin this book for you? Or did you actually start reading more after this book? Let me know in the comments!

~ Shruti

Goodreads | Twitter

25 thoughts on “Persuasion by Jane Austen

  1. Hey Shruti! Great post as usual…. I’ve tried pride and prejudice, as you had recommended, and, I gotta say, it got me hooked on Jane Austen novels! One quick Q: does this book have any humorous parts, like some of her other books, or is it more of a serious kind?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is serious, but it also has her signature satire and irony in the writing. One of my favorite jokes from the book was this: “…He had, in fact, though his sisters were now doing all they could for him, by calling him ‘poor Richard,’ been nothing better than a thick-headed, unfeeling, unprofitable Dick Musgrove, who had never done anything to entitle himself to more than the abbreviation of his name, living or dead.” πŸ˜€

      I discovered several articles with experts puzzling over why she’d be so mean about this character who’s only spoken of and is not even in the book. Nevertheless, it made me laugh out loud while reading.

      I’m glad that you’re getting into Austen. There are a lot of subtle quips in Persuasion. Do check it out! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I sure will! I was thinking whether to try Emma or sense and sensibility, but I think I’ll read persuasion. Now – have to go digging in my school library! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a classics person too, and even at 2 or 3 a year, there doesn’t seem to be may of us left! I’ve never been big on Jan Austen’s work – so far, my nearest successful foray has been Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. I do like her irony and sense of humor within the books, but the romances bore me – oh well.

    Irregardless, I really liked your review and am happy to have discovered your blog! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks for stopping by! 😊 While I’m not big on romance, it’s Austen’s irony and sense of humour that makes me love her books so much. The romance is just a little something extra that’s there haha. 😁

      I should check out Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If you do, DON’T check out the film. Whereas the book was delightful, the film was very disappointing and strayed away from the book at about 20 minutes mark. 😦 But it was definitely a fun twist on a classic – you don’t get very many Jane Austen “retellings”.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My “problem” with Austen – truly, for shame! – is that I can’t tell her books apart πŸ˜€ (Pride and Prejudice? Sense and Sensibility? Why, Jane? Why???) Also couple that with the inability to remember which ones I’ve actually read already (thank god for Goodreads!) Although I do like her writing and her books, I can never talk about them in public before doing my homework, cause I’d just get embarrassed πŸ˜€
    However, I don’t feel like Austen’s books are the really slow classics. Try Middlemarch, OMG πŸ˜€ I think I’m going to bail with that one. It’s just…. too much commitment.

    So considering all this… I think I might have read it? It sounds pretty familiar… and maybe even if I have, that’s reason to read it again πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha, this comment is gold! I may have piss poor memory, but for some reason, I remember Austen’s books well. You should read (re-read?) Persuasion! I’m pretty sure it’s Austen’s best work. Then again, I say that about every one of her books. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚

      Middlemarch? People keep saying it’s long and boring. But it’s also a classic. Should I read it? Hmm.. πŸ€”πŸ€”


      1. I usually like long classics! (I mean, except Dickens. That guy can just sell his books elsewhere xD I tried maybe 3 and hated ALL OF THEM :D) so normally I like classics, but… Middlemarch just… nope. The characters are okay, but there’s also a lot of politics, and I’m not even from England, much less from the 19th century. None of that stuff means anything to me, so it becomes quite booooring to read!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s