Unlike most Jane Austen fans, Pride and Prejudice is NOT my favorite by her Austen novel. Nor are the other more popular novels: Emma, or Sense and Sensibility. My favorite Jane Austen is the lesser known Persuasion.
Of course all of her novels are fantastic and her heroines memorable, but none stood out to me more than Anne Elliot and her ever so charming, Captain Wentworth. So when I saw that the novel by Melissa Pimentel was a retelling of Persuasion, I was all eyeballs.
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.
Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan.
There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past (summary from Goodreads).
Retellings are sometimes tricky….especially when it’s a retelling of a work by a beloved author like Jane Austen. Honestly, I wasn’t sure that this was going to work but yet there are so few retellings of Persuasion because it’s not a ‘fan favorite’ story, however I was on board for better or for worse.
I don’t know that I would cast this book as a true ‘retelling’ but whatever it was, it worked. In my opinion, I didn’t really see the resemblance or even any recognizable ‘call backs’ to Persuasion and in may ways it actually lacked any real depth….but yet I really liked it and kept reading all the same!
If I am being honest, I would call this book a guilty pleasure. It wasn’t ‘high brow’ or even smart fiction, but yet it wasn’t a trashy romance either. I think the best way I could describe it is a ‘relaxing read’. It was one of those books that you know from the very beginning—even before you turn the first page—that the main characters are going to end up together and there will be a HEA for the heroine, so why keep reading or even bother with a book that you know how it will end? Because, it’s about the chase.
And that’s what this book was, a comforting novel that takes you on a chase and ends right where you expect it to—with two characters finding love and happiness. Sometimes you just need a feel good read and that’s what this was. It’s a book that you could take to the beach or the poolside of a hotel and find comfort and entertainment regardless if you know what the end is about.
Ruby and Ethan are well matched in the story and yet they each have their flaws to make them more relatable. Throughout the story I enjoyed watching their chemistry and romance grow. At times Ruby could be abrasive toward Ethan but it never felt entirely out of character for her either which made her feel ‘real’ to me.
If you are headed to the beach for Labor Day weekend, or even if it’s the dead of winter and you find ourself on the long plane ride and you just need something to distract you—something that you know will have a happy ending—-and you will like the characters, then this is a great option.
I went with 3.5 stars for this one because I didn’t feel like there was any resemblance to Persuasion and I felt that by marketing it as such was a little misleading but yet I enjoyed the story and characters all the same and the setting was pretty spectacular!
- Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5
Genre: Contempo lit, chick lit, women’s fiction, romance, retellings