“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.