I think I am beginning to understand why so many Austen lovers consider Persuasion to be their favorite. Although, I personally cannot see how anyone can pick a favorite Austen since each one is wonderful in its own delightful kind of way.
But Persuasion seems to be something completely separate. Maybe it is because Austen wrote it shortly before her death and after she found a niche with her other novels, but Persuasion seems to hold a more mature voice. It does not seem as complicated, or as focused on young love as the other Austen novels do. Instead, the novel begins after the great love story, with the focus on Anne Elliot.
Seven years before the novel begins, Anne fell in love with a navy man, Frederick Wentworth. Instead of allowing herself to be swept off her feet, she was persuaded by a wise friend to reject Frederick (who was poor). When he re-enters the picture shortly after the beginning of the novel, we realize that we have missed much of the beginning part of the romance.
That is certainly different than some other Austen novels. We don't get to see Anne fall in love and he with her. Instead, it has already happened and we see the consequences of the actions she took seven years prior.
It seems to be a more realistic form of love story. Things do not always work out, even in Austen-land, and Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth are a great example of the complications of love.
While I haven't finished it yet, I am assuming that Anne and Fred get things together and realize they are meant to marry, but I could be wrong (don't think I am though!).
But I am sure that on the way to that beautiful ending, Austen will deliver the complex and inspiring story she always does.
I always wonder, if Austen hadn't died so young, what other great things would she have written? Although, I guess you could say that about every deceased author, but I really think we missed out on a great deal by her premature end. I imagine that she would have written many more beautiful and awe inspiring novels that we would cherish as much as her present tomes.