This book is a treasure, not because it was Jane Austen's last novel but because it is so different from her other books. Anne Elliot is a more mature heroine than in Austen's other books. Eight years before, Anne was briefly engaged to Frederick Wentworth. Anne's mother was dead by then and her close friend, Lady Russell persuaded Anne that the young man was not worthy of her. Reluctantly, Anne broke the engagement.
It is years later and Frederick Wentworth, now a naval captain, is wealthy. When Anne and Frederick meet again, the captain treats Anne coolly; he is still hurt over her rejection. He seems intent on marrying one of the neighboring Muskgrove's daughters. However, he slowly starts to realize where his heart lies.
This book is also a satire on social snobbery. As Frederick's fortunes have increased, the Elliot household finances have started to teeter. Anne's father and pompous oldest sister, Elizabeth, continue their ruinous spending in spite of their reduced circumstances. Mary Muskgrove, Anne's second older sister (and the only one married) is an accomplished hypochondriac; it is fascinating to watch others maneuver around this arrogant young woman.
This is a fully-fleshed out book with restrained, but delightful characters (Anne is a restrained character in comparison to Emma and Elizabeth Bennett). The humor is evident in the satire sprinkled throughout the book. However, it is the subtle and deep affection that Frederick and Anne have for each other that is the focus of this wonderful story.
I am a huge fan of Jane Austen. Her writing intrigues me to no end. I love her witty and whimsical style, and her view of the world around her. This is a great book, truly a classic, and I would suggest everyone in the world to read it.
I had never read a Jane Austen book, but in the movie The Lakehouse, the book was mentioned alot. I decided to go to Barnes & Noble the very next day and buy it. I started reading it, and I must admit, never finished it. Not my cup of tea. Should you request it, I hope you enjoy it! :)