Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
In the second Austen-inspired novel of her trilogy about Jane Austen addicts, Victoria Connelly once again transports readers to a Jane Austen location that is on every Janeites’ list of places visit. Lyme Regis, a seaside village known for its fossils, Cobb, and Louisa Musgrove’s fictional fall, is the ideal setting for this novel about fresh starts and broken hearts. It is also the location of a new big screen production of Persuasion.It seems the quiet village of Lyme Regis is being invaded by actors, actresses, directors, and producers, as well as romance, excitement, and action…
Similar to A Weekend With Mr. Darcy, Ms. Connelly creates a dual plot story where the point-of-view shifts between each of the three main characters. This time though, it felt like a lot more page time and emphasis was place on one couple than the other. The three main characters are: Kay, our resident Jane Austen addict who is the proud new owner of a charming bed and breakfast appropriately dubbed Wentworth House; Adam, a quiet and unassuming screenwriter whose dream of producing Persuasionis finally becoming a reality; and Gemma, a talented but reluctant actress living in the shadow of her famous mother.
While I greatly enjoyed reading about these characters, their trials, and their developments, I must admit to feeling slightly disappointed with Kay. I didn’t mind her being a head-in-the-clouds-romantic (I am too), but I just felt she was a tad slow on the uptake. Talk about being blind! I did sympathize with her misguided notions and dashed hopes, but she had several pretty big red flags that she chose to ignore… Another small quibble I had with this novel was that the romance felt a little rushed. It seemed like some characters were falling in love after two mere conversations. In this case, it’s not just the lady’s imagination that was very rapid…
However, what I deeply loved about this book and its predecessor was the thrilling and tangible feel of physically being in each Austenesque location! Through her skillful writing, Victoria Connelly adroitly and effortlessly enables her readers to taste the tangy salt air, feel the spray and brisk wind, visualize the charming boutiques and village shops, and lose myself in the ever-changing colors of the sea. Because of Ms. Connelly’s exceptionally vivid descriptions I feel like I’ve actually beento Lyme Regis!
Other aspects of this book that I took great pleasure include: the gentle nods to characters and incidents in Persuasion and Emma; learning about Kay’s artistic pursuits, (I want a copy of The Illustrated Darcy!); andNana Craig, who is Adam’s outspoken, eccentric, and adorable grandmother. She is a dear!
Written with exquisite detail and engaging plot twists this series is a MUST for any Janeite who loves to read and longs to travel! So far this series has taken us to Hampshire and Lyme Regis, and I believe the last book in this marvelous trilogy, Mr. Darcy Forever (April 2012), will take us to Bath! I can hardly wait!