“whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phillippians 4:8

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Anne Elliot is a 26-year-old single woman dealing with her father's lack of frugality and near bankruptcy. Because he doesn't want to lose his fancy (not necessarily extravagant) lifestyle, he moves his family to Bath. Anne stays behind in the country, however, to help her hypochondriacal younger sister, Mary. While visiting with Mary and her in-laws, the Musgroves, Anne is confronted with Frederick Wentworth, her ex-fiance. She left him at the recommendation of her good friend, Lady Russell - an older woman who had worried that Anne was throwing away her chance at a "good" marriage. Believing that he would be better off without her, Anne dumped the heartbroken Wentworth and - bereft herself - stayed single.

Obviously, this is not the end. It actually has a quite happy ending. Persuasion is actually my favorite book. It’s not just my favorite by Jane Austen but my straight-up favorite book. I love this book because Anne is a protagonist dealing with the repercussions of her choices - choices that come back to bite her when the now-Captain Wentworth comes to visit the Musgroves. But she deals, and she doesn’t get bitter. She moves forward. She retains her class and kindness. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to read because the situations are awkward for Anne. That’s not surprisingly, though, given the circumstances. She’s a good person that made an unfortunate choice, and she presses on with grace. Bonus, the end is fantastic. It’s sweet and satisfying at the same time.

I recommend this book to everyone. I mean, it’s written in the early nineteenth century, so it would be a little difficult to understand for younger readers. For adults, however, it is a delightful romance book.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Sometimes Sisters by Carolyn Brown