The Other Side of Persuasion

Captain Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange (ISBN: 970709082811, 223 pages, Published 2007)

A couple of months back I wrote about one of my favourite books – Persuasion by Jane Austen. At the time, fellow blogger Northern Mummy left a comment on my blog telling me about a series of books written by Amanda Grange which tell the Jane Austen stories we all know and love from the perspective of the male protagonists. Captain Wentworth’s Diary looks at all the action of Persuasion from Frederick Wentworth’s point-of-view. Of course, I had to go out and hunt this book down!

We first meet Frederick as a young man at the start of a stellar career in the British navy. On shore leave he goes to stay with his brother Edward, a curate who lives in a small country village. It is here that Frederick meets a certain Miss Anne Elliot in whom he finds a kindred spirit. This side of the story – how Frederick and Anne meet and fall in love – is something we never hear about in much detail in Persuasion. It is with a rush of guilty pleasure that I read Amanda Grange’s version of events.

Ultimately, Frederick proposes and Anne accepts, only to refuse him when persuaded to by her mother’s friend, Lady Russell. Eight years pass … during this time Frederick becomes Captain Wentworth and wins his fortune fighting in the Napoleonic wars. Fate leads him back to the village where he met Anne. There he finds Anne much altered after all these years. They are like strangers now and he has no idea of how she feels to see him again.

I won’t give away anything more. It was interesting to read a whole new take on Persuasion. The author did a pretty good job of channeling Jane Austen. I wouldn’t say that this is a literary masterpiece, but it was a nice way to pass my reading time.

The Beauty of Library Books

I’ve avoided the library for years for a number of reasons. One, I used to work in publishing so got a lot of books for free or at a discounted price. Two, I love owning books and piling them on my bookcase. Libraries selfishly make you give the books back.

Now I have returned to the library with a reading vengeance. The thing I love most is if I borrow a book I can’t get into, then I can easily abandon it without feeling any guilt. Why? Because I didn’t pay for the book so am under no obligation to persevere if the story doesn’t grab me. Afterall, there’s plenty more books where that came from.

The only down-side is that I am finding it hard to focus on one book when there’s the next book to rush to and read. You may have noticed that my book reviews have been a little slim of late and that’s because I’ve started and stopped reading a few books. Not because they were bad books, they were all quite good, I just couldn’t get into them.

My abandoned books are:

The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
  • The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman – This is a truly beautiful, literary read set in Ancient Israel. I abandoned it as my brain was bogged down by interviews and job applications and I needed a fluffier read.

 

Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth
  • Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth  – This tells the story of Rapunzel in a historical context. I was really looking forward to reading this and will hopefully try and read it again another time. It has gotten rave reviews on goodreads. I think the reason I didn’t get too far into this book was because it was so large I couldn’t fit it in my handbag. (I do a lot of my reading on public transport.)

 

Mr Darcy Vampyre by Amanda Grange
  • Mr Darcy, Vampyre  by Amanda Grange – This book imagines what happens next after the wedding in Pride and Prejudice and then goes off on a Twilight tangent. It was a little too slow for me. I ended up skipping ahead and reading, so ruined the ending for myself and thus abandoned it. I am making up for this by reading another book by the same author called Captain Wentworth’s Diary. It tells the story of Persuasion by Jane Austen from the perspective of Captain Wentworth. I am enjoying it a lot.

Do you borrow library books? Do you find being spoilt for choice ruins your ability to concentrate on one book at a time? Or is that just me?