Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Persuasion - Vivienne


Though Pride & Prejudice was my favorite Jane Austen novel for a long time, Persuasion is becoming my favorite as an adult. It speaks of mature love, what it means to sacrifice, and also the importance of learning from your mistakes.

Most of my Regency stories feature a lost-love theme where characters who were once lovers or friends meet years later and rekindle their romance. What draws me to Persuasion, and to these kinds of stories, is the belief that we can always learn from our mistakes and that love can grow and change over time. I also believe that when you truly love someone, a part of them stays with you, even if the relationship ends.

When Anne Elliot lets her friend and others talk her out of marrying Frederick Wentworth, she sacrifices herself for her family and friends. She does what is expected of her and she values pleasing others over pleasing herself (which is arguably Anne's greatest flaw). But after she does what everyone wants, Anne retreats into her role as the devoted sister and daughter and becomes nearly invisible.

Captain Wentworth carries the hurt of Anne's rejection for years and even if part of him wants to stay angry with Anne, when he sees her again, the old feelings come back. He doesn't let on at first, and even attempts to find a new match, but circumstances force him to deal with his feelings for Anne. He comes to realize that he cannot live without her and when he proposes this time, it is with a new respect for her and a deeper affection.

Though I really enjoy love-at-first sight stories, there is something about lost-love and friends-to-lovers stories that always get me. It's like the click of a key in the lock or the last puzzle piece being put into place.

What is your favorite reunion or lost love story from history or literature? 

*Answer in the comments to win a copy of my novella, Lady Northam's Wicked Surrender.

3 comments:

  1. This has got to be my favorite reunion story. I'm an Austen fanatic and you're right, the more I mature the more I can sympathize with this story. Though my Dh and I were high school sweethearts we didn't have an easy road. We separated for years, when we reconnected it was hard. There was a lot of water under the bridge, but like Captain Wentworth and Anne, we knew we'd never be happy unless we got together. 2 months later we married and have been together 11 years now. I love lost love found stories!

    Great post. :D

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  2. Wow, Linda. That's a great example of a reunion story! I think sometimes going through the early challenges makes you appreciate and value one another more. :)

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  3. I can't think of one off the top of my head, but I do think that in stories like these that the hero/heroine develop a deeper understanding of themselves as well as the other person. Going through the trials and seperation allows them to appreciate each other as well as their relationship.
    Mel

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