Persuasion: A Latter-Day Tale
written by Rebecca H. Jamison
Cedar Fort, 2012
Grades 8 and up
Reviewed from copy provided by publisher through NetGalley.
BLURB: When Anne broke off her
engagement seven years ago, she thought she'd never see Neil Wentworth
again. But when Neil's brother buys the house she grew up in, it seems
fate has other plans in store, and Anne is woefully unprepared for the
roller coaster of emotions that accompanies Neil's return. Fans of
Persuasion will love this fast-paced, modern retelling of Jane Austen's
most romantic novel.
Persuasion by Jane Austen is one of my favorite adult books, so I was naturally intrigued when I heard about this book. I was rather skeptical as I read the first few chapters, after all, Austen's books are considered classics for a reason. But as I got more involved in the story and stopped comparing it to the original, I found myself enjoying it more. By the time I got to the part where Lily (Louisa) ignores a warning sign and gets herself injured, I was fully invested in the story and finding out how the story would play out. I knew how the story would end of course, having read the original story, but I wanted to see how Anne and Neil got to that point. There were several twists and turns that kept the story moving and were quite different from the original, but that was nice in that it allowed the story to progress on its own rather than things happening just because they were in the original story.
I didn't feel like there was quite as much character development here as there is in the original, but it still makes for an entertaining read. Jamison inserts enough changes to create a story that stands on its own. The change from Victorian England to modern America creates some interesting changes as well. I did appreciate that the religious aspects of the book were woven quite naturally into the story. I found the flashbacks a bit jarring, but they did give insight into Anne's feelings and actions. I also think that making Neil a police officer and Anne's struggles to accept that dangerous profession added a unique touch and additional source of conflict.
Overall, I found the book quite enjoyable and have no problem recommending it to others as a pleasant and diverting romance.