Austen revisits the theme of mischance and misunderstanding along the road to personal happiness. Circumstances force vainglorious spendthrift Sir Walter Elliot to let out the family seat, Kellynch Hall, whose new occupants, Admiral and Mrs Croft open up old emotional wounds. Mrs Croft's brother, Captain Frederick Wentworth was once engaged to Sir Walter's second daughter, Anne, who was persuaded to break with the dashing but penniless naval officer, as much for his benefit as her own. Captain Wentworth's fortunes have since prospered, but the pain of past rejection burns deep. Anne can only look on with regret as her former love seems to have another in his marital sights, while she finds herself with a new ardent suitor in the shape of Sir Walter's heir. Having been forced into prudence in her youth, the mature Anne must use her own judgment, exercise her own will--should a second opportunity present itself.
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