Jun 172016

Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' CornbreadForgive the Past and Persuade Your Heart to Hope!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Source: Gift from Mom

TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Persuasion Modern-day Adaptation

SETTING: Tupelo, Mississippi present-day

SERIES: Jane Austen Takes the South

MAIN CHARACTERS: Lucy Crawford (curator at the Civil War Interpretive Center – Anne), Jeremiah Chevy (new doctor at the Free Clinic of Tupelo – Wentworth), Dr. Stroud and his wife Theresa (the Crofts), Aunt Olympia (Lady Russell)


  • Not a native southerner, but after living here 12 years, I find my soul loves the south!
  • I enjoyed the first two books of this series – Book 1 and Book 2
  • I can never get enough Persuasion-inspired stories!


  • Wentworth: I’ll just go ahead and say it – sometimes I don’t like Wentworth characters. *gasp* Typically in the first half of the book, Wentworth is portrayed as bitter, resentful, and a little mean – like when he delivers some zingers or acts flirtatiously on purpose in front of Anne.  In this adaptation, Ms. Hathaway focused more on Jeremiah’s hurt and feelings of rejection than his resentment and bitterness.  In his thoughts we don’t see spite or hurt pride, we see undiminished and inescapable love although Jeremiah wishes it were otherwise.

  • Inspiring Messages: I really liked how this adaptation focused on important themes like forgiveness and insecurity. While both Jeremiah and Lucy have forgiven each other over what happened in the past they seem to have a harder time with forgiving themselves. I really appreciated how Ms. Hathaway portrayed their struggle and feelings of fear, doubt, and insecurity. Both struggle in different ways and need to work more on themselves to become worthy of each other.
  • Differences and Intolerance: Not only does wealth and class differences separate Jeremiah and Lucy, race and prejudice play a part in this story as well. Jeremiah grew up in a trailer home with his mother, an unwed high school dropout who worked two part-time jobs. Lucy is the daughter of a proud, wealthy, and prominent African-American family living in a fancy historic home. Lucy’s father and aunt view Jeremiah as an unsuitable match for Lucy because of his family’s inferior and humble past and their prejudice against his skin color. While we can see in many ways how the world has changed in the past two hundred years, Ms. Hathaway aptly reminds us that unfortunately there is still intolerance and prejudice.
  • Fashion and Food: As with the other books in this series, one of my favorite aspects was hearing all the descriptions! I adored the mentions of Lucy’s vintage clothing and her vegetarian cooking! (Yay for vegetarians!) My mouth was watering at all the yummy dishes she was preparing! I definitely plan on trying some of the recipes in the back of the book!
  • Jane Austen-Inspired Wedding: Yes! I want to go to Jane Austen-Inspired wedding! What great way to bring back some other characters from the previous books! I especially enjoyed hearing how the men dressed up in cravats, boots, and breeches!


  • Not Entirely Complete: While I thought the story arc and journey for Lucy and Jeremiah were wonderfully done, I did feel that other parts of the story felt a little incomplete. Lucy’s relationship issues with her family felt a little unresolved. In addition, I really liked the inclusion of Marcus Gibbs as a rival for Jeremiah, but he seemed to disappear without a trace later on in the book. I was curious to learn if he had ulterior motives for pursuing Lucy like William Elliot did!


I love how Mary Jane Hathaway blends together Jane Austen, Civil War history, southern manners, food, and sweet romance in this series.  And I greatly appreciated her beautiful and gentle portrayal of a modern-day Anne and Wentworth forgiving their past mistakes, overcoming their insecurities, and finding their ways back to each other. I’m still hoping there will be more for this series in the future!

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A few months ago I found a copy of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin’ Cornbread at our library’s biannual book sale!  I wasn’t entirely sure if I owned it already or not so I thought it best to buy now and ask later. 😉  Turns out I did have a copy of this book already!  So I decided to save my second copy for when I posted my review to give away to one lucky reader as a way to say thank you for all the awesome support and enthusiasm!  I love sharing thoughts and talking books with you all!

As you see pictured below, I have a used (pretty much like new!) copy of Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin’ Cornbread that is looking for a new home.

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If you are interested in winning this lovely book for yourself, just leave a comment below.

  • This giveaway is open to residents worldwide because you all are awesome!
  • This giveaway will end June 24th.
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  54 Responses to “Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin’ Cornbread – Mary Jane Hathaway + GIVEAWAY!!!”


    This southern girl would love to win a copy of the book, new or used!

    Thanks for the giveaway!


    Thanks for this treasure of a book which I would enjoy and cherish.


    Sounds an interesting tale. And I’m with you on Captain Wentworth! As I age, I take a more and more jaundiced view of him. It takes discipline on the part of an adaptor to keep him on the “undiminished and inescapable love” side of the equation, as you so eloquently put it.


      Glad to hear I am not alone with these feelings! I definitely think he is swoon-worthy by the end of Persuasion, but I guess as a reader I cannot forget his actions early in the book and the pain they inflicted upon Anne.


    Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen and I would love to read this one!


    No need to enter me as I already own the book. I loved the first two books so I am thrilled to see you enjoyed this one. A JA-themed wedding would be a lot of fun! Looking forward to reading that part!


      I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did, Anna! I really liked Pride, Prejudice and Cheese-Grits too. However, I didn’t feel the same enjoyment with Emma, Mr. Knightley, and Chili-Slaw Dogs. Looking forward to reading your thoughts when you do read it!


    I just love when I find Persuasion inspired stories. It’s my absolute favourite Austen novel. Love the sound of the Austen inspired wedding and vintage clothes. I’m reading a lot of Austen at the moment because I’m lucky enough to be going to the Austen Festival in Bath in September with my two daughters. I’m always longed to go and now it’s happening!!!!!


      YAY for you Teresa! How wonderful that you are finally going to an event that you’ve wanted to for so long!!! 🙂 Great idea on how to prepare for the festival! You will have such a blast I’m sure! I thought it was a brilliant personality choice for Lucy (Anne) to be into vintage clothing!


    I love the combo of Deep South and Persuasion. The descriptions sound great especially the food. Neat that the Wentworth was a sympathetic character.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.


      Me too! There really is a lot in common with the society norms and manners. I hope there will be more books in this series! We must see Mr. Tilney!

      Best of luck!


    I love Persuasion! Over the years it has slowly become my favorite JA novel, even over P&P. I know, *GASP* I need to get my hands on some other authors’ take on the story. Not sure if I’can like any of them as much as the original, but I’m willing to give them a chance! 🙂


      LOL! Persuasion is definitely a romantic story and I think I’ve heard of many other people like you who list it as their favorite. 🙂 While I agree with you that it is hard to find anything that surpasses the original it is always fun to see different interpretations and portrayals. 😀


    I lvoed the first book and, like you,can never get enough of Persuasion-inspired reads! Would love to win!!


    This seems an interesting version of Persuasion, one of my favourite books. I would love to read it.


    This has been on my TBR list for a couple of months now along with the others in the series. So, thank you so much for the opportunity to win this.


    I remember you reviewing one of the other books and I put it on my wishlist…actually all three are on my wishlist. I just think the covers are lovely as is your review! Thank you for the giveaway!


      The covers are stunning!!!!! Even it I wasn’t obsessed with all things Jane Austen these would immediately attract my interest and probably induce me to purchase! 😉 Thanks for checking out my review and your kind words! 😉


    ❤️ Persuasion and a southern twist sounds just right!


    I have yet not read any of these stories but would love to do it


    I love reading the new twists of characters in different periods mixed with Jane Austen’s theme. This will be an interesting read and thanks for the chance at a giveaway!


      Me too! It is always interesting to see how the explore the differences and similarities that a new time period or setting or twist will give to the story! Best of luck!


    Yay! So glad this was a great read! I have the first two books but haven’t got to them yet. I’m very curious to read these “southern” stories!

    Meredith, thanks for the giveaway! 🙂


    This story sounds awesome!! (esp. Wentworth – I love it when he isn’t portrayed as only being bitter and resentful in stories) I’d love to read this book even though I’m not a Southerner, nor am I an American at all. Thanks for the review and giveaway.


    I would love to read this book. Thanks for the giveaway!


    Hi, I really enjoyed the way you broke down your responses to the book. I’d be THRILLED to win the free copy. Thanks so much for turning us onto it, and for making the giveaway possible. Hey, I was just out in the car, here in San Diego, and saw a real estate sign on a front yard, and it said, “Pemberley Real Estate!!”
    Could be one of our own kind. :- Happy Reading. And writing! Karylee


      Thank you, Karylee! Sometimes it is easier for me to organize my thoughts more this way. I’m a list-loving kind of person!

      That’s too funny! I would love to know if the name was chosen by a Austen lover! 😉 A very smart choice on their part as Pemberley is one of the grandest homes Jane Austen wrote about!


    I am a GA girl so I am definitely a southerner. I love all of Jane Austen’s works but Persuasion is one of my favs. I do love when Capt Wentworth is portrayed in a more favorable light. So I would love to win this book.
    Sherri J


    Thank you for the lovely review and the giveaway Meredith! I would love to read the book, Persusaion is my second favourite Austen novel and I do not read variations or modernizations based on it often enough. This would be a perfect to read between some P&P variations 🙂


      Absolutely! I love P&P something fierce but it is always fun to mix it up a little. I <3 all of Jane Austen's novels! Thanks for reading my review, my friend!


    Love Jane Austen and I’m addicted to any version/sequel/anything of her books! X) Would love this book!


    I haven’t read this book but it sounds wonderful! I’d love to read it 🙂


    I have not ready any by this author and am curious to try!
    Thanks for the giveaway


    Mary Jane is a new to me author & I love Persuasion so it sounds like my cup of tea. Please count me in, thanks.


    A variation of Persuasion set in the South! Love the idea!



    I love finding Persuasion variations. Thank you for the wonderful review

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