This last novel written by Jane Austen was published posthumously. Set in the Victorian era amongst those of society where birth and title dictate proper decorum. This is the story of Anne Elliot, the often overlooked daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, a man full of self-importance and vanity; and sister to Elizabeth and Mary.
At eight and twenty years (28) Anne is yet unmarried though her heart belongs to Colonel Frederick Wentworth. Eight years previous they'd been engaged but he was not a man of circumstance and her friend Lady Russell persuaded her to break the engagement. Broken-hearted, Frederick Wentworth went to sea, becoming a colonel and commander of his own vessel. He made his "fortune" in the navy before returning to Anne's hometown. Will they reconcile? Will he forgive her? Will she marry Mr. Elliot?
This novel took me over a month to read. Never before have I had such difficulty with a book. Written in the early 1800's, the prose and style is one I am not accustomed to and it seemed so wordy to accomplish so little, dialogues didn't ensue quickly enough for me. It was only in the final chapters that I found interest in the dilemmas of Anne and Frederick. The final chapter seemed to pull things together too quickly, especially compared to the pace of the previous 23 chapters, as if the author wanted to be done with it.
My apologies to lovers of Jane Austen, this must seem brutal. I've read and love the likes of Agatha Christie, but that is a more recent era, and welcomed the challenge to expand my repertoire, so to speak. If you have never read Jane Austen or the likes thereof, I highly recommend renting the movie version first, if available. It was only after seeing the BBC film of Persuasion that I was able to accomplish the final chapters. Don't let this dissuade you. Welcome the challenge to broaden your horizons, the love story is beautiful!