I am a big fan of Jane Austen and have read all of her works, so I wasn't sure what to expect from a contemporary re-telling of her last novel 'Persuasion'. However, Juliet Archer has done an absolutely fantastic job and 'Persuade Me' has all of the charm and wit of the original but with a contemporary twist that today's readers will be able to relate to.
Persuade Me follows the story of Russian Literature Lecturer Anna Elliot, her somewhat eccentric family and Rick Wentworth the gorgeous celebrity on a book signing tour of the UK, who has made his name in Australian marine biology. After an intense summer romance and bitter break up ten years earlier, Rick and Anna still harbor feelings for each other, but neither will admit it. A chance sighting of Anna with two small children leaves Rick believing that she has moved on without him, even though Anna too is still stuck in the past. Will they be able to tell each other their true feelings and will those feelings still be present once they meet again after ten years?
There are some other very strong (and funny) characters in Persuade Me including Anna’s own family; her father Sir Walter Elliot, sisters Lisa and Mona and the questionable figure Cleopatra Cle – Walter’s personal trainer and masseuse. This intricate web of characters keeps the reader busy at all times and means that there is not a dull moment in this story. I loved the way that Archer has kept the names and personalities of characters and places from the original including setting the story between Kellynch (the Elliot family seat) and Bath.
Jane Austen fans don’t be afraid to read this book; it is brilliant and does not detract from the original. I fell in love with Rick’s character even his moodiness seem to make him more appealing – the ultimate choc lit hero perhaps?! Persuade Me is easily one of my favourite books of the year and is refreshingly different form other titles available.
After reading this book, I will definitely be reading Archer’s first novel in the series ‘The Importance of being Emma’ (Juliet Archer’s modernized version of Jane Austen’s Emma – another one of my favourites!) and be looking out for future works by her.
You can find out more about Juliet Archer here: http://www.julietarcher.com/
Thank you to Choc Lit publishers for sending me a copy of ‘Persuade Me’ to review.