With Age Comes…A New Perspective

We are told that age brings wisdom. Cue chuckles and sighs. And maybe it does. I really wouldn’t want anyone to poll my general acquaintance to see if that is true of moi. However, I do know for a fact that age brings new perspective through knowledge and experience. My earlier opinions have either changed entirely or at least altered in why I carry that opinion.

Case in point, I read Jane Austen’s six completed novels along with some of her other works by the time I completed high school. At that point, I had formed opinions about Persuasion. Persuasion was the second Austen work I read and it became my favorite all-time book and that has never changed.

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What has changed is why it remained a favorite. When I was a young teen, like Louisa Musgrove, I was swept away by Captain Wentworth’s dashing naval career and also the man’s ability to write a swoonworthy letter. Okay, so I still appreciate those things, but now decades later, I have become a fan of their second chance at romance, Anne’s growth into a woman who knew her own mind, Frederick’s ability to set aside anger and pain to try again, their capacity for a deeper relationship as more mature lovers and yes, even to appreciate the humor in the folly of others surrounding them.

These thoughts were with me when I wrote Second Chance at Sunset Beach. I wanted to retell their story, but I wanted to show that sometimes the wait can bring a sweeter, more endearing prize than one that came easily. Eight years and a lack of communication separated my hero and heroine, but it also gave them time to come into their own. And that last bit is what I love most about the second chance romance that Jane Austen wrote so well in her Persuasion.

Now, I’m curious. For those who were introduced to Austen early on, did you, too, experience a change of opinion about her stories? Did your favorite change? Or maybe your favorite remained the top dog, but for a different reason?
What about the Second Chance Romance trope? Is it one you like?

6 Responses

  1. Abigail
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    It’s one of the amazing things about Jane Austen—every time I read one of her novels, I see it differently. As for favorites, Persuasion was mine for many years, but not so much because of Captain Wentworth; I identified with Anne. Now I don’t so much, and I find her family a bit of a slog to read about. If only we could spend all our time at Lyme and Bath!

    I do like the Second Chance Romance trope—especially the way you handled it in your story in Sun-Kissed! Though I have doubts about it in real life, and I think it’s often not wise to focus on lost love; it’s too easy to use it as an excuse not to live in the present.

  2. Sophia Rose
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    Exactly! That is the fun of rereading Austen from time to time as we get older. Life’s experiences influence our reading.

    I am with you about spending time in Lyme and Bath. I would love to visit for reals. 🙂

    Very good point about living in the present. Not the stuff of a romance novel, but definitely a much healthier mindset.

  3. Christina Boyd
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    I was first introduced to AUSTEN (Sense & Sensibilty) in high school. Unfortunately I couldn’t appreciate it then being the moody teenager I was…more a Thomas Hardy girl. But I did come to AUSTEN later in life and discover her gift of displaying the oddities in all of us. You could say THAT is a second chance for me;)
    I always love the leading man–but not always the leading lady. Like in Mansfield Park, my favorite is Mary Crawford.
    Yes, I’m a sucker for Second Chances.

    • Sophia Rose
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      I think your High school experience is typical of many of us. I read Bronte and wasn’t that impressed until later.

      I’m tough on the heroines, too. Knee-weakening leading men seems to be Miss Jane’s specialty. Haha! The odd kick in my gallop is that I am actually a Fanny fan. I’m not big on Edmund, but was intrigued by Crawford. Look at us scandalous Crawford fans. 🙂

  4. Kimbacaffeinate
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    I adore Austen and have found that each time I re-read them I bring away something different or it brings about different reactions.

    • Sophia Rose
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      Yes, that, exactly, Kimberly! Austen spoke of universal truths in her Pride & Prejudice opening line and its my opinion that she is popular even today with young and older alike b/c of her universal themes.

      thanks for dropping by!