So this morning the Daily Prompt wants to know:
Second Time Around: Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?
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This was an EASY prompt for me. The book I’ve read over and over again is from the classics genre. It’s “Persuasion” by Jane Austen. It’s the last novel Austen wrote before she died in 1817. It’s by far her most complicated work.
Twenty-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?
What speaks to me from the book is the idea of not making one’s own choices in life. Anne’s life was derailed and her happiness doomed because she let everyone else make her choices for her. To a great extent I feel as if my life has played out the same way and I am drawn back to this book time and again, perhaps to reinforce that I need to be my own person.
That being said, being persuaded by someone else to change your decision is only one of many themes in this book. It is full of humor, sadness, and honesty. And the BBC movie version of it starring Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds is one of my favorite movies. Couldn’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve watched it!