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Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H.…

Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale

by Rebecca H. Jamison

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I have never been a big fan of Jane Austen. It's not that I'm not a romantic it just that every book of hers always seems to be the same novel on repeat. Blergh, how boring! When I was approached to read this novel I was a tad hesitant just because I wasn't sure that it would be something I would like since it is a modern day version of an Austen tale. I like to give everything a chance so I read the excerpt to see if maybe the writing would suck me in. Boy, am I glad that I did.
This book was everything I could have wanted in a novel at the moment. The author does a great job of moving the story along, which seems to be the issue with a lot of novels I have picked up lately. I never once wished a certain page or chapter would just end. I was sucked in from the start and I enjoyed myself throughout the tale. I also noticed that the characters are developed enough that you can tell that each character is a distinct person, which I think can be difficult to achieve with so many different characters involved.
What I love most about this novel is that Anne is so easy to relate to. I think that is because the author does a great job of tying in her past and present. We really get to know who Anne is and at the end it feels like she was filling you in on her life and you were able to experience the ups and down with her. I would really recommend this book. I promise you will enjoy it!
( )
  Emma_Manolis | Jun 27, 2017 |
My favorite Jane Austen novel isn’t Pride and Prejudice, but Persuasion. Recently there’s been a trend in writing modern-day retellings of Austen’s works, so when I saw one featuring Persuasion, I had to read it even though I realized that the setting included Mormons in today’s Northern Virginia. I went into the book thinking I would have to defend Austen from desecration, and left pleased with what Jamison did with the story.

Anne in this modern version is a stockbroker who as a teenager joined the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, much to her mother’s dismay. As the book opens, her family home is being sold because her divorced father and unmarried sister have frittered away the family fortune.

Eight years earlier, when Anne was in college, she was engaged to Neil Wentworth who wanted to be a cop, a career choice Anne didn’t agree with, so she broke it off with him. Now he’s a police captain, and his brother is buying Anne’s house.

When they first meet, Neil is a little rude to her, saying she’s so changed he might not have known her. Like in the Austen book, the captain is paired with the sister-in-law of Anne’s sister Mary. And like in the original, Anne is the helping hand who takes care of Mary’s two boys, helps her father move, and is generally at everyone’s beck and call.

However here, since she has a job, Anne is more independent and has a fuller life, including Ben and Jerry’s pick-me-up ice cream binges and good friends to discuss her pathetic love life. At the beach with the Musgroves, she runs into handsome, charismatic Will and soon afterward starts dating him. He’s charming and seems eager to help her father get a job by using some of his contacts.

Read the rest of my review at AAR: http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=9058 ( )
  phenshaw | Nov 13, 2013 |
Persuasion by Rebecca H. Jamison is a modern day retelling of one of my favorite novels, Persuasion by Jane Austen. I couldn't resist reading this book. The story is set in Northern Virginia and centers around the Elliot family. Anne Elliot is the definition of dependable. She goes above and beyond the call of duty. Her heart still belongs to her ex of seven years, Neil Wentworth. Neil is on the police force in Maryland. Anne and Neil's paths cross again when his brother, Jack , buys the home where Anne grew up.
The story mirrors that of Austen's except it has a few new elements. I do like that Jamison added some drama to the book. It was unexpected and refreshing. This is a "Latter-Day Tale" so most of the characters are Mormon. I was familiar with this concept before reading so I wasn't surprised by the religious tone. However there are parts of this novel that are a bit preachy. For example in one scene Anne is talking to her mother about her views on premarital sex.That scene read like a pamphlet for abstinence. The dialog felt forced and unnatural. There are also a lot of references about the Mormon lifestyle. I'm not Mormon but I could follow along fairly well although some things remained unclear. However after searching on the internet for further explanations, I was able to visualize and understand what the author was talking about.
Neil and Anne's journey to be together is one of the classic love stories. Persuasion is about second chances, forgiveness, and letting go of the past. Jamison hit the mark with the characters. She stayed true to Austen's characters and vision. Overall I thought this book is a good read. I didn't love it like I wanted to but I was still entertained. Aside from the few problems I had with the book I enjoyed reading the rest of the story. ( )
  mt256 | Apr 28, 2012 |
Anne has some big adjustments to make. Her dad is having to move out of her childhood home, and Anne is given the task of selling some things. When she sees who is interested in buying the house, Anne is in for a shock. It's her former fiance Neil's brother. Anne wasn't prepared for this part of her past to come back to haunt her. Soon Anne discovers that old flames are very hard to forget, but she must because Neil is currently otherwise occupied (and a bit bitter about the past). The more Anne tries to move on though, the closer she becomes with Neil. Can things ever work out between them?

I was immediately absorbed in this book, and I absolutely loved it! It has that classical feel, and you can see the influence that the Austen source material has on it. This book was able to be romantic without making me cringe. I think that is somewhat due to the Austen influence, but a large part of that is also due to the author's ability to keep things from becoming too syrupy. It's what I'd like to call a more "realistic" romance. I thought Anne and Neil were fantastic characters. They were a good balance for each other. Anne's family was delightfully wacky in many ways. I particularly enjoyed her flighty sister Liz. Anne's relationship with Will was handled in a very interesting way. I was actually on the edge of my seat for a bit there trying to see how this was going to be handled.

I find that LDS romances can sometimes feel a little preachy for me, but this book was a great balance between the story and the more "churchy" aspects of the story. The meddling of others in Anne's love life was so real to life. It seems like the older you get, the more people in your ward are interested in who you may or may not be dating if you are still single. This is probably one of my favorite LDS fiction books I've read. It's the kind of book you can curl up with repeatedly. It's a beautiful homage to Jane Austen, and I highly recommend it.

Book provided for review. ( )
  l_manning | Feb 27, 2012 |
I said yes to reviewing this book because even though I have not yet read the Jane Austen classic that this book is based on, I was curious about the Mormon aspect of the book and how the author would modernize it. I know some about Mormon customs and traditions, but it was still interesting to read the book from the perspective of a practicing Mormon and see how this specific religious sect influenced the main character in her daily life.
I am sure other reviews will compare and contrast in detail this book with the original Persuasion, but I will write about this book from the perspective of someone who has not read Persuasion by Jane Austen, though I have read some of her other works and I am a fan.
The book as a whole was an enjoyable romantic read with a bit of suspense and drama thrown in to create conflict. While I was reading some of the situations, I did often wonder how Jane Austen would have written them were she still alive today, such as Lily's jellyfish sting or Anne's stalker. The use of modern technology, such as computers and cell phones, also contributed to the modernization quite obviously.
The characterization that Jamison employs closely resembles Austen's skill, with personality traits that translate across any era, such as the ones' whose main concern was about money and what it can buy. There were the females whose only concern was obtaining a husband, as well as the mother who had little regard for disciplining her children. Matchmakers also abounded and many of the characters were related - either by blood or marriage.
The Mormon influences are easy to pick out, such as Anne's avoidance of alcohol and caffeine, and sometimes these little changes did not blend well with the plot, likely because I did not always understand what the terminology referred to, such as references to a "Fireside." I believe the book would have benefited from more explanation of the Mormon practices woven into the background details.
Ironically, my favorite characters were not the main characters, Anne and Neil. I had more interest in the ones that seemed to have a smaller part, such as Jay, who lost his wife after only 8 months of marriage. Anne's character seemed to fall a bit flat, and even when she was supposed to be in a highly emotional state, such as when she gets angry at Will, I had a hard time believing it. I also would have liked more emotion from Neil, as he always seemed to be too cool and collected for the events that were unfolding.
I did enjoy the book, though, and any fan of Jane Austen would enjoy this modernized tale, as well. ( )
  JacobsBeloved | Feb 2, 2012 |
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When Anne broke off her engagement years ago, she thought she'd never see Neil Wentworth again. But when Neil's brother buys the house she grew up in, it seems fate has other plans.

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