I finished it! Here’s the sum-up:
Anne talks to her friend Mrs. Smith about Mr. Elliot, who Mrs. Smith once knew as a friend. She did not have nice things to say. Back then he was all about getting money. He was friends with her husband and borrowed from him all the time. All he wanted was to marry a rich girl, which he did. Then, when the Smiths came on hard times, Mr. Elliot was no help at all and disappeared from her life. Now he seems to be after a title and the Elliot estate–and Anne. Mrs. Smith had been hoping that if Anne really loved him and wanted to marry him that she would be able to convince him to help her out after all these years, but when Anne said that she would never marry him, Mrs. Smith seemed relieved.
Then the Musgraves and Mary and Charles came into town, and while Anne was hanging out with them–and Frederick was there too–she had a debate men’s vs. women’s abilities to get past broken hearts. Frederick overheard and he wrote Anne a letter telling her he’d never been able to get over his love of her and that he hoped she would give him one more chance. She did, and Mr. Elliot left town, and she and Frederick lived happily ever after.
And that was it. I was reading this last chapter with the note and Anne and Frederick’s talk and I couldn’t believe it was actually ending. Of course I wanted them to end up together, but I expected a few more complications to pop up. (It is called Persuasion. Shouldn’t there have been more persuading?) It was the kind of ending where it felt more like the author was tired of writing the book and just wanted to end it rather than giving the story its due course. The whole book not too much was going well for Anne, but suddenly everyone just rolls over and makes it easy for her? I hope Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars has a better payoff.
But, at least I finished another classic. Now I get to start a new one!