Witty, romantic and insightful, this novel retells the love affair at the heart of Jane Austen's Persuasion from the perspective of the suitor--Captain Wentworth. Written in the language of the era, Captain Wentworth's Persuasion re-creates the original style, themes and sardonic humor of Jane Austen's novel while turning the entire tale on its head in a most engaging fashion. Listeners hear Captain Wentworth's side of this tangled story while gazing into his thoughts and emotions.
Wentworth initially suffers rejection and frustration because the titled Elliots do not consider him good enough for their daughter Anne. Despite her feelings for Wentworth, Anne allows others to persuade her to break off their engagement. Eight years later, when Wentworth returns from fighting against Napoleon's army, the difficult years of war have reversed fortunes. Now it is he who is rich, having won many prizes in battle, while the Elliots are deeply in debt and in danger of losing their good name.
Will Wentworth seek revenge by choosing another woman over his former love? Can he walk away from Anne, or will the memory of her lips and her touch capture his love once again?
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Wanted to like it
I'll say this - the author did give it a good try, but fell far short. I liked the device through most of the book of it being told in flashback. Also, the parts of the storyline that paralleled Austen's original were just fine - we simply heard the same story told from Captain Wentworth's point of view.
What made me decide to request a refund (thankfully Audible does offer this) is that the most original parts of the book are downright horrible. Jeffers continues the storyline a bit after the wedding, and here she develops Anne's character as mean-spirited, sarcastic, and reveling in her family's misfortunes, laughing at them behind their backs. This is the complete opposite of Jane Austen's Anne Elliot, and (one would suppose) the opposite of the character that Captain Wentworth fell in love with. Quite frankly, those last few chapters flat-out ruined the entire book for me.
I ended up with the feeling that Ms. Jeffers desired to completely re-write Anne's character. In those last few chapters, we find Anne telling her father off, delighting in the idea of being the social superior of her sister, etc. Reading between the lines, I would have to guess that Ms. Jeffers thought the original Austen Anne had no backbone, and wanted to fix that for Austen. In fact, Anne Elliot as Jeffers re-wrote her was completely unsympathetic, and (at risk of repeating myself) downright mean.
No thanks. I'll stick to the sweet, gentle, mild, steady, kind, and sensible Anne Elliot that Austen created. Jeffers' Anne Elliot bears no resemblance whatsoever to her.
She could have remained true to Austen's characters.
I would have cut any scenes in which Anne appears spiteful, looking forward to lording it over her family members. This comes across as part of Ms. Jeffers' own personality, making me glad I don't know her personally.
Thank you, Audible, for having a sensible refund policy. Helps me feel good about being a long-time loyal subscriber.
a different point of view
- maria villalpando