This book is a departure for Austen as the heroine is "past the bloom of youth" being 27. Trademark Austen wit and scathing social commentary is apparent in the book. But there is something that strikes me as autobiographical, a spinster looking back over a life not seen by others for what it could be or even for the good that it contains. But this book has a happy ending.
I've always loved Persuasion, and this narrator is really perfect! Highly recommend her. For an Austen novel things move along quite quickly, and with good narration the characters come alive even more than before.
Stevenson's movement from character to character is seamless. Fine match of narrator to story. We all know Austen so well that interpretations are scrutinized by comparison, often to several versions. Well done!
I've read all of Jane Austen works, and listened to several in audiobook format is well, with several different narrators. I have both this and Emma read by Juliet Stevenson and I believe that she is a natural for Austen. She captures the humor and the drama of Austen perfectly, and I never hear her performing a character and think "why on earth did she make them sound like that?!". She manages to give each character a unique voice without resorting to strange tactics.
Also, her Mrs. Elton in the film version of Emma is magnificent.
mature, classic, happily-ever-after
Anne Elliot's strength of character really shined through when the accident happened.
Stevenson has a gift for characterization and her voice is as smooth as butter!
I loved this book because it wasn't a silly 19th century headstrong girl trying to make it in a man's world (like most of Austen's stories). Anne Elliot, the protagonist, was level-headed character who, though inwardly suffering the consequences of rejecting a marriage proposal in her youth, "took it like a man" and never resorted to whiney, manipulative, girlish tricks that have been seen in other Austen novels.