Overwhelmed with a choice in what to read on the eve of my trip to London I ended up packing three books - and buying a dozen or so when I was over there - but 'Persuasion' was the one I ended up reading in the terminal and during the long flight over. I'd been holding out on reading this one, knowing there were only scraps of first impressions of her writing left after this, but it was worth the wait. The humor and irony were the perfect compliment to the tensions of modern travel.
In 'Persuasion', Anne had some years ago been convinced by her selfish family and a well-meaning friend to refuse a marriage proposal. In ensuing years the fortunes of the family have necessitated a retrenchment to Bath, but none other than the close friends of her former suitor have taken the lease of her family's house, and Anne is forced into contact with her magnificently successful former love, Wentworth. It seems, however, that he has moved on and is more interested in others close to herself.
The family dynamics, the social commentary, the view of Bath through Austen's particular lens were wonderful to experience. It isn't my new favorite, but I can appreciate the care that the childless give to other people's furniture! It was a treat to read, especially when I was able to so shortly after have tea in the pump room, take the waters and promenade about the assembly rooms.