Sep 042017

Snark and Drama!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Purchased

Jasmin Field knows she is no actor; she is a journalist for a woman’s magazine. But on a lark she decides to tag along with her sister (who is an actress) to an audition for a fundraising adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.  But just before her audition she overhears the play’s director – the great and famous actor, Harry Noble – refer to her as an “Ugly Sister.” In response, Jazz (as she is known to her friends) gives him a rendition of Elizabeth Bennet refusing Mr. Darcy’s first proposal that perfectly embodies her very real emotions of disbelief, contempt, and abject fury.

As you might guess, Jazz, even with her nonexistent acting experience, lands the role of Lizzy Bennet in the play. And during her rehearsals and encounters with Harry Noble, her opinion of the arrogant and exacting director sink further and further. Especially when she learns that he prevented fellow actor William Whitby from making it big in Hollywood and discovers that he convinced another actor to focus on his career and not his relationship with her sister. Could she despise this loathsome man any more?!? Just when she thinks the answer is no, Harry tells Jazz what he really thinks of her… Continue reading »

Apr 232011

A Compelling and Clever Modernization of Persuasion

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Source: Library Sale Find

When she thought she was pregnant, nineteen-year-old Annie Markham and her college sweetheart, Jake Mead, happily decided to elope to Paris. However, on the night of their intended departure Annie discovers it was just a false alarm; and when she tries telling Jake this he jumps to the wrong conclusion and assumes the worst of her, launching them both into a bitter argument. Since that fateful day Annie and Jake have not seen or heard from each other. Seven years later, when the Markham’s family business is facing dire financial difficulties they hire a management consultant, who happens to be none other than Jake Mead, to save them! Although Jake and Annie strive to hide their past relationship from everyone, they make no attempt to conceal their resentment and distrust for one another. Will Jake be able to save the extravagant Markhams from financial ruin? Will Jake and Annie finally forgive each other and find the peace and closure they have been without these past seven years?

Persuading Annie is a remarkably clever modernization of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Practically all the characters and plot events are represented in this novel! There’s: George Markham and his eldest daughter, Katherine, who are as vainglorious as their Regency counterparts, Annie’s controlling godmother, Susannah Brooks, a fawning Davina Barker (Mrs. Clay), a slimy Edward Goddard (William Elliot), and the unhappily married Charles and Victoria Norman, who perfectly personify Jane Austen’s Charles and Mary Musgrove. In addition, fans of Persuasion will be delighted to find that scenes like Anne overhearing Louisa and Wentworth’s conversation, Louisa Musgrove’s fall from the Cobb, Wentworth’s ardent love letter are not only included in Ms. Nathan’s novel, but ingeniously and appropriately updated. I took great pleasure in spotting these clever parallels and found myself amazed with how successfully Ms. Nathan translated Jane Austen’s story to contemporary times. Continue reading »