Nov 212016
 

persuadedSand and Sailing

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Persuasion Modern-Day Retelling

SETTING: present-day summer in Old Lyme, Connecticut

MAIN CHARACTERS: Hanna (Anne), Derick (Wentworth), Ella Musgrove (Louisa), Eli Williams (William Elliot), Charles and Mary Musgrove, their two boys (CJ and Walter), Benny Croft (Benwick) and Adam and Sophie Croft.

SYNOPSIS:

Hanna is happy to spend her summer with her sister’s family while they vacation in Old Lyme, even if she does end up taking care of her nephews more than their mother does! She is happy until she runs into the man who broke her heart ten years ago, and discovers he is staying just a few houses away. The pain of their past relationship resurfaces with a vengeance as Derick treats Hanna with aloofness and begins a relationship with her brother-in-law’s sister…

WHAT I LOVED:

  • Setting: One of my favorite parts of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is the visit to Lyme Regis. As someone who lives fifteen minutes from the ocean and is fortunate enough to visit it often, I know how soothing, refreshing, and inspiring being in such a place can be. I loved how this whole story took place by the sea, in a private community with charming shops and an old-town feel. No visits to Bath or other locales, just sand, lighthouses, and breakwaters!
  • Clever Updates and Parallels: As always with modern-day retellings, it is so much fun to spot the parallels and nods to Jane Austen’s original novel. I thought it was very apropos that Derick was a famous athlete on a yacht racing team and that Hanna was a Kindergarten teacher. And without spoiling any of the surprises I thought the reason for the dissolution of Hanna’s and Derick’s romance was refreshing and unique. It’s isn’t so much about differences in class, families, and connections in this scenario…
  • Not the Same Sequence of Events: While Misty Dawn Pulsipher adheres to the central conflict and themes of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, she adds a bit originality to her tale by not strictly following the requisite sequence of events. There were some unique twists and a bit of an altered timeline in this retelling. Hanna only has one sister and we really don’t seem much interaction with her father or god-mother. Eli is much more appealing than William Elliot and his interest in Hanna has nothing to do with being Hanna’s father’s heir. (SLIGHT SPOILER!) And the relationship between Hanna and Derick takes an interesting turn when they decide to start over as friends halfway through the book.

WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:

  • Ella: I may be in the minority saying this, but I typically tend to like Louisa Musgrove in Persuasion stories (even though she is Anne’s rival!) Unlike Caroline Bingley and Mary Crawford, she is a sincere person and I like her friendliness towards Anne. But in this story Ella wasn’t very likable; she was very self-absorbed and had a bit too much attitude. Also, while I appreciated the twist about what happens to her later in the story, it definitely dampened the happy ending and resolved a little unsatisfactory in my opinion.
  • Not Fully In Love: I must admit that I wasn’t fully in love with either Hanna or Derick in this retelling. While I admired and liked both – and was glad that Hanna had a bit of a backbone and that Derick wasn’t completely a jerk – I didn’t feel as emotionally invested in them or their relationship. I think I wanted just a little more depth.

CONCLUSION:

Persuaded is a well-crafted and original modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and a perfect choice for readers who enjoy sweet and beachy contemporary romances. I greatly enjoyed Ms. Pulsipher’s artful approach to Jane Austen’s characters and I am very eager to read her two other releases – Pride’s Prejudice and Mansfield.

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  18 Responses to “Persuaded – Misty Dawn Pulsipher”

  1.  

    Hi Meredith,
    What a good thing that the story takes place by the sea!. I don’t live by the sea (it’s one of the things I miss living in Madrid) but when I’m going on vacation to some place close to the sea I adore this feeling you speak about : the refreshing, inspiring and peaceful atmosphere surrounding you…sigh! . The more I spend time by the sea the more I like it 🙂
    Thanks for your opinion!

    •  

      HI Teresa! 🙂 I do too! It was such a beautiful setting and I felt the author utilized it well! I agree with your sentiments exactly, Teresa! Thanks for reading my review!

  2.  

    Thank you, Meredith. I have this on my Kindle, but haven’t read it yet. I will confess to having read Pride’s Prejudice at least a dozen times and have even dreamed the events on occasion. Shocking! I know. There’s so much out there to devour so why do I keep coming back to this book? I don’t think I can put my finger on it except I like the way the characters were developed and think I’d have them as friends if I was their age. I read Pride’s Prejudice along with Jan Hahn’s The Journey over and over when I was going through treatment. Those two books and Kara Louise’s two sea-faring tales got me through the worst of times with the best of stories. Maybe that’s why these four will always be at the top of my lists.

    Great review. Perhaps it’s time to read this one too.

    •  

      Hi Joy! I’m so happy to hear that Pride’s Prejudice is such a favorite with you! I can’t wait to read it even more now! That’s great that you connected so strongly with the characters. I love your top JAFF faves! What great choices!

  3.  

    Good review, Meredith. I always like how you lay out what you and don’t like. It gives me a much better feel of whether I would like to read the story. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    •  

      Thank you, Sheila! I appreciate you checking out my review. I always fear that my reviews start to sound all the same since I do read books that are about similar characters and situations, but hopefully talking about the specific likes and dislikes make the reviews more distinct. 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you my friend!

  4.  

    Glad you could review this one. I was curious about it. I want to focus on Persuasion retellings this next year so I’ll add this one, too it. Bummer your favorite character was portrayed that way. I feel the same way the few times Colonel Fitzwilliam has been made out to be the bad guy.

    •  

      Thanks, Sophia! Me too. 🙂 It was great to get a non-P&P read mixed in this month. 🙂 I love your idea for next year! Sorry, didn’t mean to make it sound like Louisa is my favorite, don’t think she is! LOL! Just that I generally find her to be a likable character and in this retelling she was mostly unlikable.

  5.  

    I was wondering about this book. I enjoyed your review and I too enjoy being by the water…whether it’s the ocean or a lake!

  6.  

    You weren’t fully in love with the two main characters?? Yikes!

    Well for me that’s a deal breaker, apologies if that offends anyone.

    I mean you have to love the characters the story revolves around,have to have their best interests at heart,have to,no,need to see them suffer all the angst,only for them to come through, survive,and see everything that came before as a necessary preamble to them,to their togetherness,to ‘no more you and I’,but ‘us’.

    I think that if I start this book and don’t relate to Derick and Hanna,then I’ll simply put it aside as I won’t care if they see the error of their ways and end up together.

    Your honest review is very much appreciated!

    •  

      Not offended at all, Mary. 🙂 I did like Derick and Hannah…they were likable characters. But as I said in my review I didn’t love them. But to be fair, I often don’t love ‘Wentworth’ characters in the first half of the story. I will say that maybe the reason I didn’t love them came from my feeling they were a little less dynamic and developed.

      Thanks for checking out my review!

  7.  

    Sounds worth checking out, even if you didn’t love the main characters.

  8.  

    I just love it when an author that’s new to me is brought to my attention, Meredith. It’s also good to come across a book based on one of Jane Austen’s other works and Persuasion comes a very close second to P&P for me. Thanks for such an honest review. I’ll have to look these books up to see if they’d appeal.

    P.S. Since you switched email subscription services, Meredith, there doesn’t appear to be a box to tick so that I get an email for follow up comments on a topic, which there always was before. Is that because I usually use my iPad and am using my WordPress account? I love to follow the chatter on a topic that interests me and chip back in again if I want.

    •  

      Happy to bring a new author to your attention, Anji! 😉 After P&P, Persuasion is the Jane Austen novel I’v read the most JAFF for. I hope you find these books to your liking, my friend!

      Yes, I’m afraid that the two services were entwined together. So when I switched I lost the subscribe to comments. 🙁 But I’ll look into seeing if I can find another plug-in that will allow me to do that! Hopefully that won’t be to hard to find!

  9.  

    Hi Meredith! I read this book a couple years ago and loved it! I liked the fact that Hanna and Derik fell in love again. I agree with you about Ella, I was sorry for her at the end and Benny seemed very egotist.

    •  

      Hi Carmen! 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this story! 🙂 Yes, Ella’s ending was kind of ambiguous. Not exactly sure what was in store fore her future. But regardless, it was an enjoyable read!

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