Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale by Rebecca H. Jamison

Well, where should I begin? I liked the fact that the book held me by its first line. Good for it because otherwise I wouldn’t have gone ahead with it unless someone pleaded with me to go past the first line. It’s an easy book, easy enough to keep me awake for the rest of the night wanting to finish it. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This is a book about Anne who was engaged for a day eight years back. Since then, she has been on dates but still hasn’t found the one. And guess who walks into her life? Neil, the guy she was once engaged to. He’s still single. Sounds familiar? Well then, the guy too finds a girlfriend and our poor Anne is still thirsting for him. The plot is not new, it’s a story told many times. It’s the way it is told that holds the charm, things seem different, you are not sure things will end all rosy. Add to it Anne’s crazy family and the fact that she’s always the doormat. You almost feel sorry for her.

In walks Will, a handsome guy who drives a Jaguar, sends red rose bouquets and takes her out to politico dinners and upgrade restaurants. Who won’t marry such a guy? But then all’s not how it looks. There’s a bad side to the guy (we knew that, didn’t we?). This is the point where the plot goes downhill. Will is transformed from a great guy to a stalker (a really serious one), this quite doesn’t match up. Even if he is bankrupt, why will he go after a girl who is less pretty than him, isn’t rich to speak of? Why, oh, why? Too much of stalking and it gets absurder by the minute. And why are Anne’s parents supporting Will? I know he got Anne’s dad a job but still, it doesn’t add up. I believe the story should have ended long back, this is just stretching it too far.

Finally, the end comes near, things sort themselves out, all ends hunky dory, as is the norm.

Another point that didn’t go down well with me was the religious angle. I am not a Christian and it was difficult and sometimes irritating for me to follow the Ward, the Mission, the blessings, the Gospel. Everything’s good in moderation, but it was too much in here. I understand the author’s religious inclination does tend to show up in writing but it is better not to show it too much in order to get a wider readership (including people with different religious inclinations).

Well, I haven’t read the original Persuasion by Jane Austen, so can’t comment on that. I will have to read it now (I was planning to, anyway). The story is told many times but there is something about the writing and its style that holds you. That wants you to keep reading on. This was a page turner until the point where Will turns stalker and then there’s some 20-30 pages you wish didn’t exist and finally you read the ending, which is good and happy.

This book makes for a good, light, romantic read. Teenagers would love it, also some of the YA’s. It’s a book that you would want to read on a travel when you are thinking of days gone by and the love that started.

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