July 27, 2015

Persuasion & Prayers Read-Along :: Day 11

Yay for final week of this read-along! Although it's also a bit sad. I want this story to continue forever! (Well, maybe not forever, but I'd settle for a whole other continuing book. ;) Yes, I love this story that much. It just makes me happy! Anyhoo, now we're getting to the really good stuff. From now until the last chapter, so much happens and my heart just says "yes!". So let's dig in, shall we? :D

{Head over to Amber's blog for all the discussions going on there.}

Day 11 :: Persuasion Chapters 17-18

Quote(s) to Ponder:

"Anne was obliged to turn away, to rise, to walk to a distant table, and, leaning there in pretended employment, try to subdue the feelings this picture excited. For a few moments her imagination and her heart were bewitched."

{This is a moment I appreciated because just for a few seconds, Anne is dazzled by the perfect image of living in Kellynch Hall, her home. And who can blame her? She loves where she grew up with all the memories of her mother there. It's a perfect dream, but she knows that's precisely what it is. A dream. And dreams are never as perfect in reality. I just love that she's wistful for her happiness there, that she takes a moment to allow her heart to be girlish again before coming back down to real life.}

"She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped."

{Such truth! Perfection is way overrated. If everyone loves you, if you never say a wrong thing, how are you truly living? I love that Anne can see this in Mr. Elliot, but I also love that she knows he (possibly) isn't really happy and wonders if one could even trust such a person. Especially with her heart. She's had years to create in her mind the type of man she wants to give her heart to (the type of man she did give her heart to :) and isn't willing to settle for less.}

"Poor Frederick!" said he at last. "Now he must begin all over again with somebody else. I think we must get him to Bath. Sophy must write, and beg him to come to Bath. Here are pretty girls enough, I am sure. It would be of no use to go to Uppercross again, for that other Miss Musgrove, I find, is bespoke by her cousin, the young parson. Do not you think, Miss Elliot, we had better try to get him to Bath?"

{Um...YES. Silly question, Admiral. If only you knew! ;) But speaking of, I still wonder exactly how much he and Sophy know of Anne's past with Wentworth. He acts unknowing, but I'm still not 100% convinced....}


First off, Mary's letter to Anne is hilarious! You'd think she could see her own hypocrisy in it, but I suppose she's uppity enough to not go back and reread what she's written. Or even if she does, she probably cannot even understand the hypocrisy there. And I do appreciate that she gives Anne the best news ever! (At least for now. We all know the best news of all is yet to come. :)

Now then, let's talk Mrs. Smith. She was such a wonderful friend to Anne when they were younger and I love that Anne now gets to return the favor! Such a sweet bit of turnabout. Plus she gives Anne the perfect opportunity to show her growing backbone in the face of her father's snobbish ways. (I did find it amusing that Austen uses him to mention how commonplace the name 'Smith' is. We're all thinking it anyway, most likely. :D I also loved that bit where Anne bites her tongue about Mrs. Clay and lets her father kind of take care of the situation she had been concerned with before. Nicely done and she didn't even plan it! ;) The best part though, of the two friends meeting again, is that Mrs. Smith gives Anne such a beautiful role model of making the best of your hard circumstances. Anne has already been moving that direction (as I mentioned before, she's accepted her feelings and is now actively moving into her future), but spending so much time with someone who has it much worse than she and is still able to enjoy life to the fullest is just what she needs at this point. Especially now that she's back around her family all the time and feeling their neglect constantly. It boosts her confidence and keeps it growing.

My heart squees at every moment Anne thinks of Wentworth! She's so decided in her feelings now. There's no doubt, even if he marries someone else (which now we know he won't!!!! Yay!!), that her heart is fixed on him and she's content with that. She won't settle for anything less than someone who will make her feel as he does. Of course, we know what's to come, but she doesn't. And reading those moments when she's finally able to allow a tentative bit of hope in is "Aaawww"-inspiring. :D Especially with how concerned she is for how he's dealing with Louisa's news! In those moments, she's more anxious for his happiness and that's what love does.

Question :: Who is your favorite character in the story so far, and what is it that you love most about him or her? What can you learn from that character?

My absolute favorite is Anne! But I've gushed so much about her that I decided I should probably talk about why I love Wentworth and the Crofts for a little. (Although it's not like I haven't gushed about them before either, is it? ;)

The walk and conversation between Anne and the Admiral (and all the other moments that Anne notices he and Sophy out and about, not to mention all the priceless little side comments he gives on the other people they meet on their walk!) once again shows why I love them so. They're so friendly and nice, and Hamlette pointed out in her comment the other day that "Admiral and Mrs. Croft both take people as they find them, and seem adept at seeing things from others' points of view. In this, they're like Anne, so they're quicker to understand her." So perfectly true! I simply think you'd be guaranteed to have a lot of fun whenever you were around them. They seem the type of people who draw others to their warmth and enthusiasm.

Hamlette, likewise, had this to say about Wentworth, "Captain Wentworth, I think, starts out like Lady Russell -- everyone must clearly think this because I think it. When Anne doesn't do as he would, he gets angry. Once he learns that not everyone thinks the way he does -- that's when he and Anne can be together. He has to learn this by observation, while Anne knows it instinctively. Lady Russell never does learn it, I think." Very astute, my friend! And I agree. Plus he loves Anne! He's always loved Anne and was able to see how incredible she is from the very beginning. That's enough to make me forgive him for how he treats her when they meet again. Also, I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but that letter he writes......!!! That settles it for me. :D


  1. Awww, I'm flattered that you quoted me! So glad you liked those observations :-)

    I also sometimes wonder how much the Crofts knew or guessed of what had been between Captain Wentworth and Anne previously, and how much they observed of their reactions to each other now. The Crofts are both shrewd and kind, and I think perhaps they did a little... not matchmaking, but perhaps a little gentle smoothing of the way for things to work out when they could.

    1. I did indeed, Hamlette! Your observations make so much sense. Thanks for commenting! :)

      That's it exactly. Sophy and the Admiral are both intelligent people, plus they spend a great deal of time in the presence of Anne and Wentworth (separately of course). I just don't think it's possible that they would remain clueless about the past and the present. I can easily see them smoothing the way. Especially with all the mentions of Wentworth when they talk to Anne. And I can see that they are aware of how Anne is treated by her family and would be happy to give her the ability to leave them perhaps. And as Wentworth is Sophy's brother, of course she wants him to be happy! So it really does make sense....

  2. Yep, we must get Wentworth to Bath :)

    And I totally agree, Mary's letter was so entertaining and funny! But a great example of how NOT to be.

    I'm convinced the Crofts know of Anne's and Frederick's past relationship. They are not the type to mention it outright, but I think their subtle remarks and conduct indicate it. And Mr. Croft seems to be encouraging to Anne in that conversation! As I mentioned on Amber's post for day 11, I just LOVE the way Jane Austen depicts siblings in so many different ways. I think Frederick has a pretty close relationship with Sophy, too.

    1. Entirely too true, Courtney! Mary is the perfect example of what NOT to do in pretty much every aspect of her life. :)

      I agree completely. I don't see how they wouldn't know the past history of Anne and Wentworth. They're smart! And they understand Anne, as well as Wentworth. Also, I thought the exact same thing! Admiral Croft definitely seems to be encouraging Anne in that convo, just without outright saying so.

      I also agree that Wentworth and Sophy have a close relationship. The ease of which the Crofts talk about him suggests that they spend a great deal of time together and understand him. Even siblings don't spend that much time together if they don't enjoy being together! Just look at Anne's family in that regard. Excellent point! :)


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