Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"Little Letters": July 2013

Dear Summer,
 WHERE have you gone?!?!? I can't believe it's almost August. I always have so many wonderful plans for summer; so many things I plan to do with all the free time it seems like I should have - we better get busy!

Dear Volvo,
 Well, I guess I always knew you were going to make me take you to the shop and pay to fix the air conditioning. After how dreadfully hot it's been, I'm glad we got that done. Now you need new tires! It's always something.

Dear Blueberry bushes,
 I greatly appreciate the large quantities of blueberries you have obligingly supplied us! They are delicious with yogurt and granola, or simply by the handful. I don't know what I'll do when I have to go back to frozen blueberries. 

Dear Self,
 I hate it when physically I feel drained and tired but mentally I'm prepped for all sorts of projects, like reorganizing my bookcase or cleaning out my closet. Why must I feel like taking a nap instead? The conflict is causing me to get NOTHING done!

Dear Cousins,
 I'm so happy you all could visit yesterday! We had such a great time playing Settlers of Catan and chilling at the pool. I only wish y'all could have stayed longer! It was wonderful to see you.

Dear Endeavour,
 After all my professions of disliking every British crime show except Sherlock and some of Miss Marple's stories, you broke through my resistance, made me like you, and then left me hanging after 4 episodes. Come back!

Dear Swimsuit Designers,
 Is it too hard to make a reasonably priced swimsuit that is modest, in a nice, pretty-but-not-wild color with the kind of style I want and did I mention modest? Apparently, it's almost as difficult as finding jeans that fit. I'm still waiting.

Dear HIIT,
 Short exercise routines that are just as or more effective than longer exercises? Great, count me in! High-intensity is really exhausting, and those intervals seem a lot shorter during the training, but hey do I feel great afterwards!

Dear Merlin,
 I don't really know what to think. I can't believe the last season has ended. I still want more.

Dear ModCloth,
 You have too many cute dresses, and I can't buy all of them. But there are so many lovely ones! Someday, I will get one.

Dear Beach,
 I can't wait! We're coming back soon. So excited!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Confessions of a Headstrong Dreamer

 When I started this blog 3 years ago, I was determined about my future life plan. My blog title says "hopeful" but I was really more "willful." Since then, I've come to realize two important things, the first (and most obvious) of which is that I actually am already "homemaking." Secondly, that it may not be God's plan for me to ever be a wife and mother - and I'm finally content with that.

It's been said over and over again in various ways, but it's one of those things that simply has to click in your own head (and I have a thick head, so it took a while): Marriage won't magically fix anything. When I'm working around the house here, for my parents and siblings, it's tempting to think that the chores would be more rewarding, that I would feel more successful, and that nothing would ever be able to touch my blissful felicity, if only I were doing those things for MY house, MY OWN family. 

I do find the work rewarding most of the time, even though it is hard (and I imagine it would be much harder on my own than I can fathom) and am usually content. But if something frustrates me, I sometimes think things like, "this wouldn't happen if *I* were in charge of everything!" or "if I ever get married, my family will do such-and-such the way *I* want to do it." That's not necessarily true, though, and thinking like that doesn't help my attitude in the moment. I need to make the most of these opportunities to grow so that if I do get married someday, I will be a more graceful, patient and gentle woman for my family. 

As for my obsession with getting married, I think I might have tried every clichĂ© tactic in the "Christian girl" playbook: 
  • Love-God-To-Get-Husband
  • Pray-in-Faith-and-Jesus-Name
  • Wait-Patiently
  • Be-the-Woman-You're-Meant-to-Be (probably NEVER going to happen) 
  • Stubbornly-Cling-to-Desires-Until-God-Relents. (my personal most often used) 
What? That last one isn't in the Christian girl rulebook? It's definitely the worst, because I realized (to my extreme shame and horror) that I was trying to manipulate the Creator of the World, my heavenly Father, my Savior and King (Who owes me NOTHING) into giving me my childish, worldly desires. What petty, silly wickedness! But one thing I realized all of those tactics have in common is an ulterior motive.

If you truly love God, certainly praying about a husband is a good thing, but not as a magic "letter-to-Santa" type prayer. If you really trust Him, there really is no "waiting" - only living the life He has given! I should ALWAYS be growing into the woman He means me to be, for His glory and as a child of the King. I certainly won't be stubbornly holding onto what I want. Instead, I will be embracing the peace and contentment that He gives in every situation to the child who trusts Him.

In light of all that, I've been contemplating a name change for my blog. I doubt I will change the web address, as I'm pretty technologically impaired and I'm not sure it's even possible to keep all my old posts and transfer them to a new blog (which is what I'd want to do) so my folly will probably live on in the URL, but if I can think of something good, I might have a new title soon. ("Elizabeth" means "consecrated to God" so I'm thinking of a play on that somehow...) Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments! I want to display my identity, not as who I am or who I want to be on worldly terms, but simply as who I truly am: A Child of God.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Beautiful Sunday

It's been a lovely day. We don't usually eat breakfast until after we get home from church, so we're usually pretty hungry by then. When we came home today, we had fruit, sausage and these almond flour pancakes.
HCG Diet (P3) Almond Flour Pancakes
Almond flour pancakes!
They were delicious (I can say that since I only followed a recipe to a "T" right?) and have an 100% approval from the males in my family (which is a MAJOR success for healthy food, here!) and Sarah said she liked them better than "normal" pancakes. I foresee many more stacks of these lovely pancakes in our future... and probably double batches, since the only complaints I was hearing was that there weren't enough of them. 

We're avoiding gluten and starchy carbs temporarily for a sort of cleanse. Many people can be sensitive to gluten and not even realize it. Almond flour is a great gluten-free substitute because it is low carb, high in good fats and has more protein content than whole wheat flour. 

I also tried an almond flour bread recipe, but it didn't turn out as lovely as the pancakes, so I won't share the recipe, but it did taste pretty good. In spite of that, the menfolk rating was quite low. I'll continue searching.

We also had fresh veggie juice from our new Champion juicer. Our old one (from about 20 years ago) broke at the beginning of the summer when I was just ready to start juicing again, and the new one finally came! Sarah and I also whipped up some egg salad and chicken salad, and we ate them with the almond flour bread and our veggie juice for dinner. For dessert, we're going to have brownies (I hope to share the recipe soon) and triple chocolate ice cream. And then we will not be able to sleep.

I discovered a useful bit of knowledge about myself while doing all this kitchen work today: I am much more motivated to clean up as I go, and try to keep the kitchen in good shape if I start with a clean kitchen. Sarah and I had to do a little shopping after our breakfast/lunch today, and when I got home, the kitchen was nearly spotless, so I tried to keep it that way. Of course, I should always do that anyway, but if I come in the kitchen and the boys have spilled orange juice on the counter, and someone left the popcorn maker out, and there's leftovers from all that snacking laying around and a sink full of dishes to be washed, I tend to just ignore it all, and add my mess to the collection. (I know, it's bad...) In general, I love cleanliness, but I'm more motivated by "keeping" something clean, than having to take it to that clean state and then maintain. I'm also easily overwhelmed by messes that actually don't take too long to clean up if I'd just dig in and do it. Now that I realize this about myself, I can take measures to counter it, for example, by requiring myself to take 10 minutes to tidy up the kitchen before I start making anything.

Earlier this week, I bought some flowers for my bathroom (at the wonderful suggestion from Delvalina!) and I will leave you with a couple pictures.

 I can't believe we'll get into August this week! This year is flying by. Have a good week everyone!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Delicious and Healthy Something-or-other

Originally, this was an Australian recipe that Mom found. We made it, loved it, and have eaten way too many of them since. The original recipe was called "Raw Caramel Slice" but we quickly gave up on that name. We chose to officially call them the very sophisticated and intelligent name: "Bar Thingies."

Our slightly altered recipe goes as follows:

1 1/2 cups of dates
1 1/2 cups of almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

1/2 cup coconut oil
2 TBSP coconut sugar
4 TBSP cacao powder

For base, process dates and almonds in food processor until fine-crumbed and holds together when pressed. Add vanilla extract and process a few more seconds. Press into greased 9X13 inch baking pan. 
My sister Sarah, with her lovely, manicured nails, obligingly allowed me to photograph the process.
 For the filling, gently melt coconut oil and stir in peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and salt.

Pour over base and place in freezer for 20 minutes (or refrigerator for about 1 hour). 

For the topping, gently melt coconut oil and whisk in coconut sugar and cacao powder. Pour over chilled base and filling, then refrigerate for 10-15 minutes, until topping hardens. 

Cut into squares and enjoy! Store in refrigerator. 

A few notes about the alterations we made. First, we don't get the Medjool dates because they are more expensive and are not pitted. The other dates Whole Foods sells are cheaper and already pitted, so even though they aren't quite as sweet and juicy as the Medjool dates, we're happy with them. We increased the amount of dates to get a more sticky base, which may not be necessary with Medjool dates. We've made a very sticky base that holds together well by adding a little water, but we actually like it a little crumbly, like the picture above.

I substituted peanut butter originally because we didn't have tahini on hand, and we liked it so well, we've never tried tahini. The peanut butter certainly doesn't taste like caramel (which is obviously what this recipe is trying to replicate) but I'm not sure that the tahini really would either.

The carob powder was left out because we didn't have it, and I am not a fan of carob, so I have no intention of ever adding it.

My favorite thing about these "Bar Thingies" besides how delicious and healthy they are, is that my dad and brothers don't much like them, so Sarah, Mom and I have them all to ourselves! They still don't last long enough, though. The only problem with healthy treats is that I feel less restricted about eating them... and end up eating 1 or 2 too many!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sense and Sensibility

Sarah and I recently just re-watched the 1995 and 2008 adaptations of Sense and Sensibility and I decided to take on the monstrous task of trying to compare my opinions of the two movies.

With Pride and Prejudice I found the "which movie adaptation is better" question to be an easy answer. (The 1995 is as near perfection as could be wished, and I hold a loathing disdain for the 2005. I hear there are other adaptations, but I highly doubt they could come close to my beloved 1995.) Sense and Sensibility was slightly more difficult because the 1995 adaptation is fairly faithful to the novel, and my parents greatly enjoyed it when it first came out. I didn't enjoy it as much, because I thought everyone seemed really old, except for Margaret, of course. When I finally read the book and realized they weren't supposed to be old (Elinor is NOT a spinster!) I was much more happy with the story, but even less happy with the movie. When the Sense and Sensibility 2008 miniseries came on Masterpiece, I watched in delight as nearly everything I hoped for an adaptation came true! I eagerly awaited the next episode each Sunday night (having to wait a whole week was torture!) and it's definitely my favorite. But I can't loathe and abhor its rival, as the 1995 does have its moments. 

Emma Thompson's Elinor is not one of those moments. I appreciate Emma Thompson, but she was not right for Elinor. She over-dramatized too much for me, besides looking too old. I didn't like the scene when Marianne finds out she knew about Edward; Elinor shouldn't get MAD at Marianne! I also thought it was a little too much when she was tending the sick Marianne, and her excessively loud sobbing was quite distracting during Edward's proposal scene at the end. 

Hattie Morahan in the 2008 was perfect for Elinor. She looks more like a 19-year-old, and kept her calm, gentle, kindness through the whole movie. I am all praise for her performance. I only wish they had done something a little nicer with her bangs...

Hugh Grant. Not Edward. I like him very much in Notting Hill (which is a cute movie, in spite of some inappropriate spots) but he is just too awkward for Edward. Hugh Grant seems always to play sweet, bumbling, semi-intelligent fools and that's not what I want for Edward. 

Austen describes Edward as: "not handsome, and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing. ... when his natural shyness was overcome, his behaviour gave every indication of an open, affectionate heart. His understand was good, and his education had given it solid improvement. .... All his wishes centered in domestic comfort and the quiet of private life."

"... the expression of his eyes, which are uncommonly good..." - Elinor, Sense and Sensibility, the novel
 By that description, perhaps Dan Stevens could be considered a little too handsome and immediately likable for Edward, but I won't complain! I like him very much as Edward. The scene where he meets Elinor is, of course, completely inauthentic for the time period, and quite uncharacteristic for a man who is naturally shy, but I like it nonetheless. 

"Would you like some help? With the carpet beating?"
Dan Stevens and Hattie Morahan as Edward and Elinor might be my favorite part of this mini-series (although there is so much more to like as well!) Besides being perfect individually for their roles, they worked well together.

Kate Winslet as Marianne was very good. I may have liked her better than Charity Wakefield this time around. I don't think she quite looked 16, but I think she portrayed Marianne's romantic and dramatic nature better.  

Charity Wakefield's Marianne is a little stiff sometimes, and a lot of her lines chafed me with their briskness. I think she could have been more girly and romantic in general, speaking more elegantly and gently, even when she's passionately expressing her feelings.

While I'm on the topic of Marianne, my favorite scene from the 1995 is definitely this one:
"I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him..."
This scene was very much like the book, and I love Marianne's indignant response: "Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor! Oh! worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise. Use those words again and I will leave the room this moment." - book quote. I don't remember exactly what the movie quote was, but it was delivered excellently, and I know that one of my favorite words, "insipid" was inserted. In the 2008, the similar scene was fairly disappointing by comparison.

Alan Rickman's Colonel Brandon (besides being too old) was a little too depressed and dull in my opinion. I liked David Morrissey much better. He was quiet and reserved without being dull and serious without being depressed.

Finally, the issue of Willoughby. The most common complaint I hear about Dominic Cooper's Willoughby is that he's too obviously a bad guy. That's not completely his fault, the screenplay lets the audience in on the secret immediately by showing him to be avoiding the Colonel, and hinting that the Colonel has a reason not to like him. This is something that Jane does not mention in the book, and I believe Colonel Brandon has no reason to (except jealousy) to dislike Willoughby until his hasty removal to London to care for his ward, but the script seemed to imply that Willoughby already had a reputation, and Brandon knew about it. If that were true, he should have taken measures to protect Marianne, like warning her mother. I don't think Colonel Brandon would stoop to treating a rival poorly from jealousy, so either way they meant it, I didn't like that little twist to the script.

Again, the 1995 Willoughby (Greg Wise) was too old. Other than that, I probably like Greg Wise a little better. I personally think that Dominic Cooper is a little more attractive, but there is something about him (and I don't think it's just his acting, because if you see any pictures of him, he almost always has that sultry, smug, brooding expression) that seems weird.

Typical creepy face.
 So I definitely prefer 2008's Colonel Brandon, but possibly the 1995 Marianne and Willoughby. It's very close, and I still enjoy their performances in the 2008.

All the other characters are better in the 2008. I like Mark Gatiss as John Dashwood, and greatly prefer the Mrs. Dashwood and Margaret. The 1995 production also left out some characters that I missed. I don't know why they killed Lady Middleton and left Sir John a widower. Lady Middleton's cold insipidity is a small part of the 2008, but I like her so much that I imagine the actress when I'm reading the book. I wish little Henry Dashwood had been included instead of that dog. I also enjoy Anne Steele's big-mouth presence and the opportunity to see the formidable Mrs. Ferrars. 

The hilarious Steele sisters.
The scenery in both movies is very nice, I can't say that I prefer one over the other. I like the music in both equally as well. I do think I prefer the cottage from the 2008, and the surrounding area. It looks a little more rustic.

Blackpool Mill Cottage as Barton Cottage.
Interesting side note: Blackpool Mill Cottage in Devon is actually available to rent, and all that wonderful surrounding landscape is actually part of the location! I want to go!

Breathtakingly gorgeous.
Andrew Davies raises such conflict for me, because I think in general he does a great job of faithfully keeping to Austen's original story, but then he intentionally inserts unnecessary sensual scenes, like the very beginning of the 2008. We always skip it though, so I almost forget it's there. Then there's also the scene when Willoughby shows Marianne his aunt's house. In spite of that tendency, I think he makes the best Austen adaptations, and I wish he would do Mansfield Park, it needs a really good adaptation.

I do like the chopping wood scene, so I can't complain too much about Davies's original ideas.
 Willoughby's discussion with Elinor after Marianne's illness is left out in the 1995. I'm glad it's included in the 2008, I like the way that it closes that chapter of Marianne's life. In the 1995, Willoughby's sad face intrudes on our happiness at Marianne and the Colonel's wedding, and I didn't like that at all.

Jane Austen's wonderful novel gets the treatment it deserves in the 2008 adaptation, and the lesson I see in the story comes out very well. Marianne is the girl that I tend to be; Elinor is the woman that I want to be. We see in Marianne a girl who lets her feelings rule her, she is buffeted by them, and led into inappropriate conduct by following her feelings. Elinor is not devoid of feeling, as Marianne sometimes thinks, but while feeling deeply, is still in control of herself.

Elinor: "Do you compare your conduct with his?
Marianne: "No. I compare it with what it ought to have been; I compare it with yours."

I love this shot!
 Edward and Elinor both behave as they should (well, excepting Edward's incautious friendship with Elinor in the first place) - and in the end their honorable actions are rewarded by an end to their suffering and separation, and they live happily ever after. Yet another wonderful work from the pen of Jane Austen, adapted admirably. The end of the 2008 is just perfect, it's such a sweet scene, Elinor bursts into surprised, happy tears when she finally discovers that Edward isn't lost to her forever after all, but not so wildly as to detract from Edward's proposal. It might not be exactly like the book, but I find it completely satisfactory.


Friday, July 12, 2013

P&P95 Forever Club Giveaway!

If you've seen either of my reviews on Pride and Prejudice, it's obvious which one I think is the most wonderful version ever, and which one could easily be deleted from history without a noticeable loss. It should be no surprise then, that I am delighted to be a member of the P&P95 Forever Club (which is a wonderful club that any fan of P&P95 should join) and I am very excited to announce that the lovely ladies over there are hosting a fabulous giveaway! I've been admiring the prizes, and also dreaming about purchasing many things from the two lovely Etsy shops and the wonderful tea shop!

Go on over and check it out!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Bathroom, Patience and Failure: Part 3

(Click to read Part 1 and Part 2.)

It all would have gone better if we had intended to redo the bathroom, I suppose: planning ahead of time, and then going into it with the intent of redoing the room. I was just thinking, "let's clean the bathroom!" It's a family joke now: "Oh, 'let's clean the living room' next!" I'm now at the point where I can laugh. (I really wish I had some "before" pictures to show!!)

So after briefly considering some options to fix the old counter top, like putting a little shelf  behind the back splash to bridge the 3-inch gap to the wall, we decided to just go ahead and purchase an inexpensive new counter top, realizing that we probably preferred to have more space than to keep the old counter top anyway (which wasn't very nice to begin with). We replaced nearly everything else in the bathroom, so why not? It was a busy week, leaving us no chance to go shopping for counter tops until Saturday, June 15th. Home Depot had a simple, white counter top in a box, ready to be installed, and we purchased it immediately.

New counter and faucet (and drain, and sink that doesn't leak!)
That weekend was too busy to actually install the counter top, and I don't exactly remember when it did get installed, because by that point I guess I had finally learned some patience. Then Daddy mounted the mirror for us. We finally got around to painting the trim June 25th. Daddy fixed the leaky sink, so I finished storing all our stuff back under the sink yesterday. It's finally all done! (Well, except for the left side-splash and that one towel bar I haven't hung yet...)

Our lovely oval mirror mounted, and the new hand-towel ring.
 We've finally reached the end of this project, and I feel like I've learned a lot about failing as well; I felt like a miserable failure throughout this experience (particularly in choosing cabinet wood) and almost every little thing I tried to do myself seemed doomed. I have to remember that my aversion to failure is really just my pride. I'm a (recovering) perfectionist, and the abstract and drastic color variations in the cabinet seem like flaws. Flaws are not perfection - lack of perfection is failure. (I see how crazy these thoughts are when I type them out!)

Also, my expectations were unrealistic regarding the amount of time it would take to complete this project. It seemed pathetic to me that it took 12 weeks for this bathroom makeover and I have a tendency to think of things that aren't done to my expectations as failures, which is obviously wrong. We DO have a completed bathroom, now, after all! Just because it took longer than I hoped doesn't make me, or anyone else involved, a failure.

VoilĂ !
Besides changing my perspective on failure, God has also shown me that it's okay even if I do fail. I have failed in so many ways in my life, and will continue to, I know. The most glaring failure being that I could never be righteous enough to fulfill God's requirements for holiness (Romans 3:23) but through Christ I have been redeemed. His grace covers everything from my fallen, sin-stained soul to those stupid mistakes I make almost every day.

I've also learned not to jump head-first into things without figuring out all the ramifications first. I guess it was actually my impatience to get rid of that mildew smell that caused this to grow into such a huge, befuddling project. Some of the patience I've learned, plus a little bit of thought and planning and a reduction of my perfectionist tendencies will help any future projects like this go more smoothly, I hope.

I'm happy with the way it looks now; our bathroom is bright, fresh and pretty. And I've already learned to love my maple cabinet. I thought I wanted something a little more polished and "chic" but it turns out that this rustic little cabinet is the perfect complement to the rest of the bathroom scheme. The full effect is pretty, simple and relaxed. It's delightful. 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." -Romans 8:28


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Persuasion (2007)

(This is the twelfth of my reviews for the Period Drama Challenge.)

Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel, published with Northanger Abbey after her death in 1817. In an interesting contrast to Northanger Abbey's youthful and naive heroine Catherine, Anne Elliot is a mature woman nearing the end of prime marrying age for that time, and has known the sadness of being estranged from the man she loves, Frederick Wentworth. 8 years have passed since she was persuaded to break off their engagement, when they meet again. 

When I first read Persuasion I didn't appreciate it as well as I do now. Possibly because I was unfortunately blinded by both adaptations that I have seen. Neither the 2007 or the 1995 really captures the story in my opinion. In a lot of ways I'm inclined to say that this version has an overall feel more like the story (until the end), while the 1995 adaptation did a better job following the book. But I digress, this is not a comparison review. I strongly recommend that you read the book first in this case!

Anne's mother died when she was fairly young, leaving her and her two sisters to the care of her vain, arrogant, foolish father, Sir Walter Elliot, and the guidance of Lady Russell. Lady Russel is a kind lady, but still unwise enough to agree with Sir Walter that Anne should not marry Captain Wentworth. Eight years later, Anne sadly repents following Lady Russell's counsel and submitting to her father's greedy wishes that she marry someone more influential and wealthy. She is not happy, but she still has a sweet, gentle spirit not marred by bitterness, though quiet and regretful. 

I don't like Sally Hawkins's portrayal of Anne very much. She's too mousy, and that gasping, squeaky little breath that she does gets on my nerves every time. I think her looks are very appropriate for the character, although the hair and make-up artists should have done her hair a little nicer, but I struggle to enjoy most of her performance. She's too dull and gloomy, and doesn't show enough of the gentle sweetness that Anne has through her disappointed sadness.

Rupert Penry-Jones's portrayal of Captain Wentworth, on the other hand, is fabulous! He's got the perfect appearance for Captain Wentworth, and portrays all the wounded feelings, pride and hurt, but is still sensitive and kind in a perfect balance. For the sake of his performance, I tolerate Sally Hawkins. He is the best part of this movie.

Mary, Charles, Sir William and Elizabeth
 Sir William Elliot is played by Anthony Head, and he is hilarious with his vain primping and egotistical snobbery. Elizabeth (Julia Davis) is perfectly shallow and pompous, and Mary is exactly as annoying and whiny, self-absorbed and demanding as she should be. With such family members, one should wonder how Anne turned out so well. 

Hysterical hairdo!
 Mr. Elliot (Tobias Menzies), the slimy cousin who will inherit their father's title and estate, fit the part very well. Mrs. Clay was much too pretty. Lady Russell (Alice Krige) was a little too shallow and not developed well enough for us to understand why Anne esteems her.

I don't think any of the Musgroves were developed enough, but they were pretty well-cast. Mrs. Musgrove was a little too calm I thought, since she was supposed to be very boisterous and jolly. Admiral and Mrs. Croft should have been more developed, too, the hour and a half allotted wasn't nearly enough to adequately express the novel.

A lot of the scripting is very awkward. In the beginning, there's a silly scene between Anne and Lady Russell setting up all the history for us. It's quite insipid. There's a few other scenes and some silly lines, like Louisa telling Captain Wentworth about her brother Charles wanting to marry Anne. Upon his asking her when this occurred, she replies, "I don't know, but before he married Mary." (No way! I'm so stunned that he didn't try to marry Anne after he was already married to her younger sister!)

There are a few journal scenes which let us into Anne's thoughts, an idea that I like, although I don't think the scenes turned out as well as they could. They had potential, but are just a little too sappy and sentimental for my taste. They do incorporate many lines from the book and at least provide information true to the book. Anne's manner is too emotional, from the book I felt she tried to restrain her feelings, but she seemed more to indulge and nurture them in this adaptation.

"All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one, you need not covet it) is that of loving longest, when existence or when hope is gone."
Unfortunately, one important ending scene was altered to be earlier in the movie, and even though the lines are fairly accurate, it forced major changes to the end, with devastating effect. Instead of Captain Wentworth overhearing those sentiments, summed up in that line (probably the most famous from Persuasion), no one overhears, and it gets lost. He writes nearly the same letter, but the manner of delivery makes no sense. Instead of a sweet walk, we watched Anne run (yes, run!) around the streets of Bath, without her bonnet, trying to find Captain Wentworth. It culminates in her finding him exactly where she had started her run, and ends with the most painfully slow, awkward kiss ever. It's a disaster.

Then there's this strange after-thought scene in which Captain Wentworth gifts Anne with Kellynch Hall, apparently bought from her father.
There are some beautiful scenes, nice music, good lines from the book, and Captain Wentworth is great, but overall, I don't feel like this movie does the book justice. I think the ending had the power to "make or break" this movie, and it definitely broke. From the moment that Captain Wentworth marches out of the concert before the first note is played, the movie goes into a downward spiral, from which it sadly doesn't recover.

Persuasion is a wonderful novel; don't judge the book by its adaptations like I unwisely did. Perhaps someday a worthy movie translation will be made. Until then, I'll just keep alternating between this movie and the other, trying to decide which one is less painful in its errors, and ultimately returning to Jane Austen's unsurpassed, beautiful book.