For so long now I’ve been saying that Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is my favorite book of hers. Granted I’d only read two but I think the reason that book made such an impression on me is because I happened to be in Bath when I was reading it. Christine and I had tea at the Pump Room, visited the Jane Austen Centre and spent time reading our books in some beautiful gardens. So you can see why I may be attached to that book.
But, I read Persuasion a few weeks ago and I think I have a new favorite Austen. This is the story of Anne Elliot, who was once happily engaged to Frederick Wentworth but had to give him up as a result of being persuaded by a friend and family. Now years have passed, she’s older and on her way to spinsterhood and is is continually used by her family.
When Captain Wentworth enters her life again, now with his situation greatly improved, I found that I completely believed the emotional roller coaster Anne was on. To see him again, to feel that she may have a chance at love and yet her hopes are dashed when she thinks he’s courting another young woman, it’s all beautifully described in this book.
There are many scenes which I loved but perhaps the best one comes towards the end when Captain Wentworth gives Anne a letter. If you’ve not read this book, read it just so you can read that letter. Really, it’s that good.
Now one good thing about going to Dallas on the weekend was that I got to see the film version of Persuasion with my mom. I gave her the DVD for her birthday and we really enjoyed watching this one. There were a few things that were obviously different from the book but it was a good adaptation. One I wasn’t sure going into it just because so much about the book is about Anne’s thoughts and emotions and I wasn’t quite sure how that would work.
I did like this though. I do think it was good to read the book first because there are a lot of characters and sometimes things were explained too quickly so I could see how you might miss things. At least my mom, thought that.
While I do think Amanda Root, who plays Anne, and Ciaran Hinds, who plays Captain Wentworth were great in the film, one of my favorite characters is actually Anne’s sister, Mary. The actress truly brings to life the sister who is quite the attention-seeker.
So I think I’ve found a new favorite and this counts as two more down for my Everything Austen Challenge. Can’t wait for the next Austen or Austen-inspired book or movie.