Book Review: A Modern Day Persuasion: An Adaptation of Jane Austen's Novel by Kaitlin Saunders

A Modern Day Persuasion: An Adaptation of Jane Austen's NovelA Modern Day Persuasion: An Adaptation of Jane Austen's Novel by Kaitlin Saunders
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Summary:   Nearly eight years ago, Anne’s family, specifically her father, convinced her that she was too young to wed and insinuated that her fiancΓ© Rick was solely interested in her wealth and status. Against her better judgment, Anne agreed to postpone the marriage, only to watch the love of her life walk away, never to be heard from again. Almost a decade later, still single and no longer wealthy, Anne struggles to make a name for herself designing greeting cards. Unable to move on with her life, she finds herself still emotionally bound to the man who disappeared the moment things didn’t go his way. Through a series of serendipitous events, however, Anne is reunited with her old love—just as a new beau enters the scene. Only time will tell if her heart can finally be set free to love again, or if Rick’s initial betrayal will leave her single…forever.

Persuasion is my favorite Austen & I rarely see retellings of the story. Sense & Sensibility & Emma are streaks ahead in popularity, it seems. So when I ran across this book, I had to read it. It was sweet & bittersweet & a very solid version of the story set in modern time. I was interested to see how it would translate over time & was surprised that a lot of it fit quite well. There's a scene with Anne & her nephews reenacting a Star Wars: Clone Wars episode that just tickled me & spoke to my SW fangirl heart.

The family Elliot is just as insufferable as they are in the original work & while I was glad of that, I did have a difficult time accepting that Anne would be just as reluctant to challenge them. Her sisters freely treat her horridly in private & public but she always defers & capitulates, not wanting to upset them. I didn't need a warrior woman but I felt like she needed to say or do something to assert herself when being mistreated, if for no other reason than to stop the mistreatment. I think though, that's me imposing my own idea of modern western womanhood interfering, not the author's failing in the telling. I did find the issue of cousin, Will Elliot a little odd in the modern rendition. He's dated Elizabeth at Dartmouth & is now seemingly courting Anne, though Elizabeth is still quite keen. It felt strange that in this modern setting, cousin Will (I don't care that he's twice removed) would not have been courting outside of the family, chance of inheritance or no. This is also true for Elizabeth. The other characters all rolled with this happenstance as though it were usual which added another odd factor. It came off as arcane here but I do applaud the author for trying to work with it.

Rick was phenom & his letter to Anne at the end gave me chills, just like the originals does for me. From that point on, I root & hope & need a tissue. I still think that Rick shouldn't need to concern himself with trying to prove to the Elliot clan that he was worthy, those people are twits. Even so, they mattered to Anne, so it was gallant of him to care. No matter the little quirks in this retelling, I still felt for these characters & wanted they to work it all out.

All in all, I liked this & would recommend it to anyone who happens to be a Persuasion fan. It's a very easy read & perfect to take along on vacation or to while away some airport hours. 3.5 stars because it's an adaptation & while quite good, I can't give real points for sheer creativity & newness.

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