Austen's novels are characterized by their limited plot and their freedom from deep philosophical musings, complicated image patterns and symbolism. As a result the reader is presented with a skilfully crafted novel in which setting, character delineation, acute observation of social interaction, accuracy and realism are all very important. The early novels were characterized by the use of irony, humour and satire. These are much less evident in Persuasion, as Austen seemed more concerned with the sympathetic and sensitive expoloration of her heroine's character and situation. Persuasion is a simply structured novel, for its plot is concerned only with bringing Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth together. A major theme of the novel is Austen's examination of pride and vanity - pride in one's social position and vanity of one's personal appearance. The idea of persuadability is tied up with another major concern of the novel - the right quality of mind. As the novel develops, Austen strives to achieve a right balance between contrasting opposites. I started to read the book reluctantly (as it was for school); but when I was familiar with the characters and the language, it was very enjoyable. If you have ever been in love, or thought yourself to be, or even had a crush on someone; you will identify with Anne Elliot's behaviour when she is around Captain Wentworth. It was amazing how real the characters came to be, and the events which occured can be compared of those today. I recommend the book to anyone with an interest in love stories. It was the first Austen book I have read, and it will not be the last.