Saturday, October 16, 2010

Great Review for Anne Elliot from Diary of an Eccentric - I'm so excited!

Anne Elliot, A New Beginning: A Persuasion Re-imaginingKermit the Frog sings that "It isn't easy being green," and I can sympathize, because it's not easy being self-published either. For that reason, I am so pleased by the review from Anna Horner of Anne Elliot, A New Beginning at Diary of an Eccentric. Although sales of my Persuasion parody are modest, I am pleased by Anne Elliot's reception nonetheless. I wanted people to laugh, and apparently they are. I hope you will visit Anna's site and post a comment. But here is part of the review:

Mary Lydon Simonsen’s love of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and her sense of humor are evident in her latest novel, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning. Readers will need a sense of humor as well and not mind some liberties being taken with their beloved Austen characters to enjoy this parody, which had me in stitches throughout.

Anne Elliot’s family declares her a spinster on her 25th birthday, and since she has no plans to marry anyone unless he’s Frederick Wentworth — to whom she was engaged until a family friend, Lady Russell, persuaded her to break off the relationship... Possibly inspired by the ending of the 2007 movie version of Persuasion, Simonsen’s Anne Elliot takes a morning walk, decides to chase a rabbit, and ultimately becomes a long-distance runner. Anne also is more outspoken, no longer willing to let people decide for her, and not in need of any one to support her. When Frederick comes back after more than eight years, now a wealthy naval captain, he admires the changes in Anne and is drawn to her once again.

“Henrietta told Mary of a remark you made concerning me, Captain Wentworth, and Mary could hardly wait to repeat it. You said that I had altered so much that you would not have known me. Well, that comment was correct because I have changed. The mouse you left eight years ago is no more. People may have their expectations, but I shall do what I think is best for me. I only have this one life, and as limited as it is by society and my own family, it is mine to live as I see fit,” and she turned and walked into the inn without looking back. (page 51)

Although Anne Elliot, A New Beginning is very much about Anne and Wentworth rekindling their romance, Simonsen’s retelling is so different from Austen’s original work that it takes on a life of its own. I loved how Simonsen deviated from Austen’s tale by making Mr. Elliot more horrid and mixing Anne and Wentworth up with a charming street urchin named Swoosh who gives them hilarious street names when they go undercover to get the scoop on Mr. Elliot. Anne isn’t the only character who undergoes a major transformation, and the changes in her sister, Mary, and a business undertaking by her sister, Elizabeth, and their father, Sir Walter, are hilarious! ...

Unlike Persuasion, Anne Elliot, A New Beginning takes the characters of Anne and Frederick well beyond where Austen ends their story. It’s too bad that Pride and Prejudice gets all the attention because I really enjoyed Simonsen’s take on Persuasion — and she seriously could write another novel all about Swoosh. However, Simonsen told me she had to self-publish Anne Elliot, A New Beginning because it isn’t a different take on Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, which is what sells these days. I hope that changes in the future because the characters in Persuasion are just as captivating…and I’m still not ready to let them go just yet.

For the complete review, please visit Diary of an Eccentric.


  1. Great review Mary. This is exciting.

  2. Thanks, Tony and Irena, my faithful commentors.

  3. She gave a lovely review and now I want to read this book too :)

  4. Thanks for posting this, Mary. I wish you much success; you deserve it!

  5. Congratulations, Mary! Always a good sign.

  6. Thanks everyone. It is also good to hear from you!