I love Jane. I do. I own 4 of her 6 completed novels and think she is amazing. But so far, this book is my least favorite.
The book deals with a 27 year old woman, Anne Elliot. Twenty Seven?? Egads, almost a spinster, she was! No really. Back then, 27 was cutting it close in the "get married have kids" part of life. She refused the hand of a man she loved 7 years ago because she was persuaded to do so by her rather dismissive father and eldest sister, as well as her godmother, Lady Russell. The man Anne chose was not rich enough, not highly ranked in society for her family's taste. Seven years, and no prospects later, she meets back up with the man she refused, who is still angry and hurt at her refusal. There are other back stories; conniving house guests, young male relatives trying to insinuate themselves on the family fortune, etc.
Written while ill, right before her death, "Persuasion" feels rushed. There's not enough witty dialogue. There's no back & forth between the characters. Instead of this:
Anne said "blah blah blah, and blah blah." Mr. So-and-So smiled and replied "Oh really, that's marvelous, etc"
it was more
Anne told him how she felt and he said he felt the same.
Less conversations between the characters, and more Ms. Austen dictating from the side what happened. I LOVE how Ms. Austen wrote her characters' speeches and interactions, and this book threw me for a loop. It was a novel with less dialogue than usual.
I did still enjoy the "witty, sweet, kind woman gets her happy ending," while all the evil people get their comeuppance. Ah, if only life were that way.