Characters are always what draw me to a story -- if I love the characters, I will love the book. If I don't engage with the characters, no matter how much I like the author's writing, I won't actually love the story. So the reason that this is my favorite Austen book is because Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth are my favorite Austen heroine and hero. And together make my favorite Austen couple. That's just how it is.
Of course, Austen's writing also delights me. She's so smart without being pompous, polished without being glib, and sincere without being sappy. I love how deeply we get to know and understand her characters -- many of them, not just the main character. And I love the way her books bring home to me the fact that no matter how much the externals of society change, people are the same inside, century after century.
Quick description of what the book is about, in case you don't know already: Miss Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth were engaged eight years ago, but she broke off their engagement because her surrogate mother believed the marriage would be unwise and imprudent. Neither of them have ever fallen in love again. Now Wentworth is back on sea, important and wealthy and ready to settle down, but still harboring bitter disappointment over Anne's ending things with him. Anne is unappreciated by her own family and has lost her girlhood beauty, but has grown into a patient, wise woman who has learned to understand herself and those around her.
I read this as part of a buddy read on Bookstagram, and that was so much fun! I really love discussing books with other book lovers.
|(Mine from Bookstagram)|
Particularly Good Bits:
"There is hardly any personal defect," replied Anne, "which an agreeable manner might not gradually reconcile one to" (p. 31).
A submissive spirit might be patient, a strong understanding would supply resolution, but here was something more; here was that elasticity of mind, that disposition to be comforted, that power of turning readily from evil to good, and of finding employment which carried her out of herself, which was from Nature alone (p. 138).
Her spring of felicity was in the glow of her spirits, as her friend Anne's was in the warmth of her heart (p. 227).
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: G. Nothing objectionable here.
Like I said, it's my favorite Jane Austen novel. I have many copies...