Persuasion is easily the most accomplished of Jane Austen's novels and certainly the most subtle. Most matters admit shades of gray and spring can follow fall. One of my favorite aspects is how beautifully the seasons complement the story and reflect her themes.
Austen applies her usual penetration to her character studies and Persuasion lacks her usual buffoonery. Sir Walter Elliott, in his conceit and his absurdity, is all too believable. As a result, her depiction of class and a changing society is more penetrating and even damning than in her earlier works.
I admit it, though. I miss the high humor of P&P and Emma (probably my favorite of all the Austen novels). However, the subdued wit is necessary to a story that's both wistful and hopeful, about loss and regeneration.