When someone asks me who my favorite author is, the answer is easy! Jane Austen, of course. BUT, ask what’s my favorite book and it gets harder. Like all Jane Austen fans, I probably fell a little bit in love with Fitzwilliam Darcy the first time I read Pride and Prejudice, Who wouldn’t? But, since reading as many of Jane’s novels as I can get my hands on, I have to say the Persuasion is perhaps my favorite!
in Persuasion, we see a story about second chances, something that we all long for at one time or another. Anne Elliott is just an ordinary young woman. She is not high-society, although her father and elder sister act as though a mere baronetcy is equivalent to, if not a duke, then at least an earl! She isn’t fabulously wealthy, extraordinarily beautiful, or outstandingly talented. In short, she is the rest of us! She falls in love with someone to whom she can talk to about all the things SHE enjoys and the things HE enjoys. But, things being what they were in the world then, he had a major disadvantage as a suitor – his ‘prospects’ were limited, as he was only a naval officer, not even a captain. So, Anne being, lest we forget, very young, (I think some where about 17?) accepts the advice, or PERSUASION of a trusted older woman who has always acted as her guardian.
I love the fact that, while Anne as a teenager was willing to accept advice and counsel, even if it went against her feelings (not to mention Captain Wentworth’s!), when she matured, she learned to think and judge things for herself. She sees in hindsight that this had been the wrong decision for her happiness, but not the wrong course of action as a teenager with no experience.
Thankfully, for those of you who haven’t read Persuasion, Anne and Frederick do get that second chance to get it right.
How like us! We have all gotten it wrong, and sometimes feel that we are not worthy of that second chance. BUT GOD is a God of second chances! He wants us to turn around from the wrong decision, the wrong road, the wrong life choices, and turn to Him. And even after we let Him into our hearts, when we still fall short, He gives us another chance. And another. And another. Peter once asked Jesus ‘ “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’ (Matthew 18: 21-22) Just think how many times God give us a second, or more, chance every day!
I guess that’s why I think that Persuasion is my favorite novel.