Lady Russell returns home after taking care of obligations that have kept her away for six weeks. Anne is looking forward to returning to Kellynch—not to her old home but less than half a mile away. She will be staying with Lady Russell. She worries that this will put her closer to Captain Wentworth. She is not looking forward to constantly running into him. However, Captain Wentworth spends so much time at Uppercross with the Musgroves that, in some way, Anne is actually moving away from him. One other thing that concerns Anne is the possibility that Lady Russell and Captain Wentworth will one day meet. Neither likes the other.
Captain Wentworth has been missing from Uppercross for a few days. Word finally reaches the Musgroves that Captain Wentworth received word that an old friend, Captain Harville, is living nearby in Lyme. Captain Wentworth has gone to visit him. Wentworth will soon return home, but he mentions that he would like to go back to Lyme as soon as possible. He invites the Musgroves, including Anne, to go with him. The Musgrove sisters are thrilled with the idea and plans are made.
Upon arriving in Lyme, Captain Wentworth introduces the Musgroves and Anne to Captain Harville, his wife, and a mutual friend who is staying with the Harvilles, Captain Benwick. Benwick is in mourning, Anne discovers. He had been very much in love with Captain Harville’s sister, Fanny. While he was away at sea, Fanny died. Benwick is having difficulty getting over her. Anne develops a special fondness for Benwick immediately, believing that in some ways they share a similar grief. Anne ascertains that Benwick has a better future ahead of him. Even though she and Benwick are a similar age, Benwick appears younger—and he is a man. He will eventually recover, but Anne must consider this to be impossible for herself.
Although Anne enjoys meeting Wentworth’s friends, she is also saddened by the occasion. She finds the Harvilles and Benwick pleasing and comfortable to be around, but she realizes that without a connection to Wentworth...
(The entire section contains 542 words.)
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