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.
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?