Most Deserving of Praise!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Did Laurel Elliot do the right thing when she decided against moving to Nashville, Tennessee to be with the man she loved? Would James Marshall still have become the successful millionaire he is today if she remained a part of his life? Would they have found their happily-ever-after living on love and a hand-to-mouth existence?
When she was just eighteen and halfway through her first semester at college, Laurel was faced with the most difficult decision of her life: follow the man she loves on an exciting and unknown adventure to a new town or pursue her college degree close to home where she is depended upon by her family. Even though Laurel desperately loved James and wanted a future with him, her fear and uncertainties made her balk. And instead of convincing Laurel to overcome her objections, James walks out, gives up, and closes his heart…or so he thought.
What a magnificent modernization of Jane Austen’s Persuasion! It is easy to conceive why Karen Cox won the GOLD MEDAL in the Romance category for the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards! Similar to her Pride and Prejudice alternate path, 1932 – which I read and greatly admired in 2010, Ms. Cox, once again, penned an accomplished and well-constructed story with originality, likable characters, and an engaging plot. Except that instead of Pride and Prejudice, this one is about Persuasion, and instead of The Great Depression, this story takes place during modern times.
One aspect I greatly appreciated about this novel was that readers are able to see the full story. Karen Cox begins her story eight years back, displaying the young summer romance between Laurel and James. Instead of alluding to their past love affair, or depicting it in flashbacks, Ms. Cox illustrates with detail how they fell in love, their blissful months together, and the circumstances that ruptured their relationship. I loved seeing Laurel and James fall in love for the first time, it was such an endearing and tender romance.
In addition, I deeply enjoyed finding all Ms. Cox’s clever modernization and reincarnations for the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel! An Anne Elliot that makes pottery? Sir Walter as a poor, hippie marina owner? A Lady Russell who is reclusive and suffers from agoraphobia? Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? These slight changes in personality and situation made the story more interesting, original, and less like a carbon-copy of Persuasion. I felt a sense of unpredictability and novelty when reading this story, which isn’t always the case in modern adaptations.
Karen Cox’s second Austenesque novel is most deserving of all the praise and accolades it receives. Find Wonder in All Thingsis a glorious homage to Jane Austen’s Persuasion! I most emphatically recommend!
(Note: Due to a few brief intimate scenes and some mild profanity, I’d recommend this novel for Mature Audiences only).