Author: Jane Austen
# of Pages: 150
When I was a bit younger, I was in the habit of reading anywhere from 5-15 books at the same time. Basically my system was that I had a different book for every room of the house: I had a book in each bathroom, 2-3 books by my bedside table, a book in the living room, a book to read while waiting for other people to take their turn in board games…well, you get the idea. I think my brain must be shrinking as I get older because I am no longer able to keep track of so many books at once–I have found that old(er) age has pushed me towards more conservative reading habits (aka, the “normal” habit of reading only one book at a time).
However, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I have taken on the daunting task of trying to read the unabridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo (all 1500 pages of it). As you might be able to imagine, that book is huge. And bulky. And it hurts my back, shoulder, knees, and brain when I try to heft it around anywhere with me in my purse. So, as a result, I have taken advantage of the fact that my mom bought me a Nook for Christmas and have been using that to fulfill all my reading-en-route needs (and my reading-while-donating-plasma needs).
Anyway, I’ve actually tried to read this book a number of times (not unlike my experience with Great Expectations), and I was never able to make it through it. It’s not that I never cared for the story (and what female reader doesn’t love Jane Austen?)–it’s just that I was always so absorbed in the 12 other books I’d be reading at the same time that I tended to just let Persuasion sit there and gather dust.
But no more. I finally found myself adequately enraptured by the tale of Anne Elliot, a middle child born to a high-ranking (and rather silly) family who let the love of her life go because she was worried about keeping up familial expectations of marrying a rich baron (or someone equal). Almost nine years after that fact, her former sweetheart unexpectedly returns to her social circle, and what follows is the ever-increasing anxiety over whether or not he will fall in love with her all over again and give her another chance.
Persuasion (Austen’s last novel) is the story of the effects of time on love and reasoning. Beautifully and simply told, it’s a novel that can easily be read in a few lazy summer afternoons. I’m only sorry I didn’t give it its fair chance earlier on.
My Rating: 4.5 stars