What’s better than a book that's a retelling of one Jane Austen classic? That’s right, two classics. Brigid Coady’s Persuading Austen is a retelling of Persuasion, with a hint of Pride & Prejudice mixed in.
Just like Persuasion, the name of the heroine of this novel is Anne Elliot, though she goes by Annie. Annie has spent her life living in the shadows of her father and sisters, who have all found success within showbiz. Whilst her father and sisters are oblivious to their dire financial situation, Annie has had to spend her adult years carrying her family and ensuring that everything remains in order, even if it has meant that she has had to sacrifice the best years of her life — particularly her love life.
Eight years prior, Annie had a secret romance with an up-and-coming actor Austen Wentworth, who is now one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Austen has returned and is back in Annie’s sights.
If you’re looking for a romance novel that’s going to sweep you off your feet throughout, this novel won’t give you that. Though I must admit, the final scene was full of swoon. The fact that you don’t get as much interaction between the heroine and hero isn’t a bad thing — I actually preferred this for this novel. Persuading Austen’s strength is in its character development. I enjoyed watching Annie’s character grow. She went from being passive to someone who is strong and independent. By the end of the novel, she found her courage and I was silently applauding in my head when she finally stood up to her family.
Retellings are difficult, so I commend the author for taking on the mammoth task. Overall, I think Persuading Austen was successful in the way it captured the essence of Jane Austen.
Release date: July 18th 2017 by HQ Digital
I received a copy of this book from HQ Digital via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review