Sunday, November 23, 2014

Book Review: Persuasion, Captain Wentworth, and Cracklin' Cornbread

Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread (Jane Austen Takes the South, #3)Author: Mary Jane Hathaway
Publication Date: November 11, 2014
Publisher: Howard Books
Series: Jane Austen Takes The South # 3

A lively Southern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, featuring Lucy Crawford, who is thrown back into the path of her first love while on a quest to save her beloved family home.

Lucy Crawford is part of a wealthy, well-respected Southern family with a long local history. But since Lucy’s mother passed away, the family home, a gorgeous antebellum mansion, has fallen into disrepair and the depth of her father’s debts is only starting to be understood. Selling the family home may be the only option—until her Aunt Olympia floats the idea of using Crawford house to hold the local free medical clinic, which has just lost its space. As if turning the plantation home into a clinic isn’t bad enough, Lucy is shocked and dismayed to see that the doctor who will be manning the clinic is none other than Jeremiah Chevy—her first love.

Lucy and Jeremiah were high school sweethearts, but Jeremiah was from the wrong side of the tracks. His family was redneck and proud, and Lucy was persuaded to dump him. He eventually left town on a scholarship, and now, ten years later, he’s returned as part of the rural physician program. And suddenly, their paths cross once again. While Lucy’s family still sees Jeremiah as trash, she sees something else in him—as do several of the other eligible ladies in town. Will he be able to forgive the past? Can she be persuaded to give love a chance this time around?

He was like air to her then, and she couldn’t live without him.

“I would hope the future of the South is about more than relivin’ old battles and knowing which cannon they used.”

“Anyway, even if I weren’t having a wedding, it would be my solemn duty to make sure you were versed in all things Jane.”

He’d only needed one summer to fall in love with Lucy, but it had taken ten years to get over her. And darned if he was going to let it all happen again.

Once again Mary Jane Hathaway brings her readers a lighthearted romance full of all the humor and struggle that we tend to be drawn to with this particular genre. This is the third book in her Jane Austen Takes The South series, and she has skillfully retold Jane Austen’s Persuasion and made it completely her own. Lucy Crawford, our heroine in this tale, is living with her widower father in her childhood home and she feels as if her life is slipping through her grip. She is constantly worrying about their impending debt, that her father seems to pay no attention to, and she realizes that her beautiful childhood home is falling to shambles. Not long after the opening scenes, readers learn about a past relationship that Lucy endeared and ended because of the dislike her family showed towards her young suitor. Lucy and Jeremiah are reuniting under what Lucy wishes were better circumstances, but their love story is enough to have you laughing, gasping, and praying they make the right choices all at once!

I have read many Jane Austen retellings in my time as a book blogger, but this is the first retelling I have read of Jane’s Persuasion. This story is written so beautifully and with such attention to detail, that it does not matter if you are fan of Jane Austen, it doesn’t even matter if you have ever read a Jane Austen novel, there is still something in this book that everyone can love and appreciate. These books are clean and would be appropriate for young adults as well. I cannot promise that you will not become frustrated with our main characters, because you most likely well, but it is completely worth watching them work on the kinks in their own lives together. Grab this series if you are looking for something cozy to snuggle up with this Thanksgiving!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Howard Books in exchange for my honest review***

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