Author: Emily Ann Benedict
- Date read: August 3, 2017
- Rating: 5 stars
- Genre: Historical Fiction (1930s) / Christian Fiction / Retelling (Jane Austen’s Persuasion)
- Age: YA
- Year pub: 2017
- Pages: 198 (ebook)
- Series: Book 4 in the multi-author Vintage Jane Austen series (but stands alone!)
- Fave character: Freddy
- Source: The author
- Notes: I received a free advance reader copy of this book from the author (thank you!); these opinions are entirely my own.
- Links: Goodreads • Amazon • Author’s Website • Series Website
Another excellent addition to the Vintage Jane Austen series! I’ve quite enjoyed reading each of these standalone retellings by different authors—all so different, yet similar too, and delightful one and all thus far! 🙂
This one is a sweet retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, except it’s set in 1930s America during the Great Depression.
Perception is a lovely tale, in its own right, and also as a retelling. I so enjoyed all the parallels to Persuasion—which is one of my favorite of Austen’s novels—and also the twists and how it fit into a new era. It was fascinating how well this story translated to the ’30s, featuring Captain Wentworth’s character (Freddy, in this one) as a post-WWI soldier, and Anne Elliot (Abbey, in this) as part of a once-rich family which has to rent out their home due to financial troubles of the Great Depression. It all fit SO. WELL. I loved that. 🙂
I loved the characters! Abbey was a relatable heroine (quite liked her!) and Freddy was fabulous and unexpectedly fun sometimes. XD I quite liked some of the other characters too, like Freddy’s sister and her husband, and Sam. Many fun characters! I was impressed with how well-drawn the characters were, how some of them who in the original version I disliked, Miss Benedict’s writing managed to turn into characters that I either liked, or at least understood more and saw their side of things. Excellent character building!
The settings—both geographical and time-related—were quite well done too! It was interesting visiting Boston and Cape Cod and other places filling in for the old locations in Persuasion, and the 1930s feel felt very real—and I liked the old cars and such as a great touch. 🙂
Mostly, the plot and characters line up very well with the story it is retelling, but there were also a few surprising additions and twists which were super interesting! Like Abbey’s unexpected business venture, and other developments and surprises which were neat, and which I will not spoil. 😉
I also loved the Jane Watson cameo (so fun finding them in each of the books!!), and the few dashes of excitement and a snatch or two of unexpected peril, as well as the humorous bits of dialog from time to time. It was also kind of beautiful at times. ^_^
This author’s writing is lovely! It has a sort of quality to it that I can’t quite pinpoint, but was perfect for this story. I’m looking forward to trying more of her work. 🙂
Overall, this is a quite fun retelling of Persuasion, and a lovely clean romance of almost-lost-love, with a few surprises and even a dash of murder-mystery lurking in the background, all set in a well-drawn ’30s atmosphere, and skillfully penned. I quite enjoyed myself reading this, and definitely recommend! ^_^
“So am I engaged to both of them now?” Freddy asked, smiling.
“I don’t think that’s legal, Freddy,” Bonnie replied drolly.
Abbey relaxed, grateful not only that someone had thought to throw a party for her, but that she had been able to escape attending.
Abbey could have laughed at Freddy’s appearance. He was clearly not yet sufficiently awake for this sort of conversation.
“You’re my guardian angel, Abbey,” she said as she climbed into the car.
“No, not really, Sam. I’m just a messenger.”
“But that’s what angels are. That’s how God says, ‘I’m here, and it’s going to be all right.”
“Tired physically, or tired of someone?”
Abbey couldn’t help smiling. “Tired of many someones, to be honest.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“I want to eat pasta.”
“I can’t settle for merely liking a man when I’ve known what it’s like to love one.”
~ ~ ~
Read my reviews for others in the series so far:
Have you read any retellings of Persuasion, or other Jane Austen books?
(Note to any potential reviewers: For a limited time, Emily Ann Benedict is currently looking for a few people to review this book on Goodreads and Amazon in exchange for a free download of it, so if you’re interested, do let me or her know! Thanks! You can also find the book at the links above.)
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Dream away in those pages . . .
~ The Page Dreamer