Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Review of Anne Elliot from A Few More Pages

I received a very good review from Katy at A Few More Pages. Katy won a copy of my novel, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning, in my giveaway, but I did not know that she had quite an impressive blog of her own. Katy was good enough to review my humorous retelling of Persuasion, and I am very pleased with her review:

Anne Elliot, A New Beginning: A Persuasion Re-imaginingThis novel is essentially a humorous re-imagining of Jane Austen's Persuasion. In this version, instead of pining and wasting away after rejecting Wentworth, Anne Elliot finds a way to work through her feelings. Since her father and sister are too self-focused to even notice, she becomes a long distance runner. Her accomplishments (along with the emotional high that comes from exercise) change her into a more confident woman who is much less timid and more likely to stand up for herself and speak her mind.

You really must approach this novel keeping in mind that it isn't a serious re-telling of the story, but one full of humor... Anne's sister Mary, for example, is inspired by Anne's changes and becomes less of a whiny hypochondriac and dedicates herself to nursing and helping other people... And Ms. Simonsen makes sure that where she has stretched the historical record, she explains it in a section called "Correcting the Record."

There were countless moments that made me chuckle in this book. Here is an example, in which Henrietta Musgrove talks to Anne about her love interest, Mr. Hayter.

I have always liked Mr. Hayter very much," Henrietta told Anne after pulling her into a corner away from the crowd. "He's been most kind and attentive to me, and I feel very comfortable in his company. The only thing I don't like is that my married name will be Henrietta Hayter. It sounds self-loathing. But Mr. Hayter told me in confidence that when he inherits Winthrop, he will take the name of the estate. He agrees that Hayter is not the best name, especially for a curate. (p. 106)

I also enjoyed that the book's timeline went further than Persuasion. The author gives the reader a view of Anne and Wentworth's life after they got married. It was all the more interesting when Wentworth got shipped off to war and they had to be apart yet again.

Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel, I think largely because I felt a kinship with the timid Anne. Despite my feelings for the original, I thought this was a fun retelling. To imagine Anne as an assertive and self-assured heroine was an amusing departure and definitely worth my time. This was a great summer read. I already have another of the author's books, Searching for Pemberley on my TBR and am looking forward to reading it.

To read the entire review, please visit Katy's blog, A Few More Pages.


  1. I really thought this book was hysterically funny. I loved it. Quite a change for most of us historical/romance or whatever we are readers. The review was good also.

  2. Thanks, Suzan. Hope you will tell your friends about it. :) Mary