Chapter 23

Many people like ambiguous endings. I will endure them because I know that ambiguity is part of life. And because no matter how much pouting I do, no more story is going to appear on the page. Liking things tied up in tidy little bows is why I enjoy Chapter 23 of Persuasion so much.

We have Anne talking to Harville and having a chance to speak her peace about women’s constancy vs. men’s. We have the swoony letter, which is swoon worthy because it’s an apology and plea for time together all wrapped up in tidy little package. THEN, you have this:

Private_Rapture“There could not be an objection. There could only be a most proper alacrity, a most obliging compliance for public view: and smiles reined in and spirits dancing in private rapture. In half a minute, Charles was at the bottom of Union Street again, and the other two (Anne and Frederick) proceeding together: and soon words enough had passed between them to decide their direction towards the comparatively quiet and retired gravel-walk, where the power of conversation would make the present hour a blessing indeed; and prepare it for all the immortality which the happiest recollections of their own future lives could bestow. (Drumroll please) There they exchanged again those feelings and those promises which had once before seemed to secure every thing…”


Yes, people, they got it all said and done even before all the explanations about Louisa, Elliot, jealousy, and that perfectly lousy line about Anne having changed so much Frederick would not have known her.

As their spirits were dancing, they started singing off the same page.

The further apology is nice, and I like the last chapter’s clarifying what happens to most of the players. But, it’s Frederick and Anne happy again that matters.

I think it’s a good start to a romantic June’s blogging.

Take care–Susan Kaye


2 thoughts on “Chapter 23

  1. lani2013

    I think an ambiguous ending can be good depending on the story. Not a book but the movie K-Pax has a wonderful ending. It stars Kevin Spacy as a mental patient who thinks he is from the planet K-Pax and Jeff Bridges as his doctor. At the end of the movie it is up to the viewer to decide if Mr. Spacy really is an alien or not. My hubby and I have fun adding up the clues and deciding.

    There they exchanged again those feelings and those promises which had once before seemed to secure every thing…”

    As for Ms. Austen, I would like to hear more of those conversations between Anne and Frederick. It almost feels like she is giving her character some privacy after the Big Reveal of the Letter. In Chapter 24, she did seem like a mystery writer tying up the last of the clues for the ending.


  2. Susan Kaye Post author

    I don’t really mind an ambiguous ending if the story is well-told from the beginning. I have the feeling that some authors jump on this trope when they tire of the story and don’t care to finish.

    The Gravel Walk of Persuasion is certainly a great example of an author telling everything and showing barely anything. But, I can’t complain too much. If Jane had dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s, where would that leave me?

    Thanks for commenting lani. 😉



Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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