I received a five-star review from Grace Lociano at Books Like Breathing. This is especially gratifying because Grace has a reputation for not pulling her punches. For the entire review please visit her website.
In this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Anne Elliot is tired of being a pushover. She has lost the love of her life because she let herself be influenced by Lady Russell and is constantly ignored by her father and sister. She begins a regular regimen of running and exercise. Through these activities, she gains confidence and the strength to tell all of these morons where to stick it. She is also able to make Captain Wentworth fall in love with her again by showing him that she will not be influenced by anyone again and that she is a stronger woman.
I love Anne Elliot. She has always been the one character that should have annoyed me, but I just can’t help but love her… I also love how we got to know Captain Wentworth better. I have always been curious about his motives during his flirtation with Louisa. Although I could see his reasons, it always angered me a little. Swoosh, the streetwise orphan that befriends both Anne and Captain Wentworth, was awesome. He was so spunky, intelligent and quite adorable. He was one of the biggest highlights of the book.
This book was a treasure that I really thought… wouldn’t be believable. I mean, the idea of a Jane Austen character taking up running was as plausible to me as having Mr. Darcy walking to the middle of the drawing room and start doing the chicken dance… If the thought of Anne running was implausible, the thought of her gaining a backbone was darn near impossible. However, the way that Simonsen altered the story was ingenious. Anne changes so much because of one decision. It was amazing how Simonsen could pull such a subtle shift in character and plot without it being too outlandish.
If you are a fan of Jane Austen sequels and are looking for something different, pick this one up. I am looking forward to Simonsen’s next Jane Austen adaptation, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, coming out in January.