Book Review: Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin’ Cornbread

cracklin cornbreadA 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?

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I love all things Austen, so when I was given the opportunity to review this book I jumped on it.  Persuasion isn’t my favorite Jane Austen book, but I loved how Hathaway re-told the story. She brought God and an inter-racial relationship into the mix and added a new level to the book. I enjoyed these added bits to the story line.  The action kept pace and the story progressed well through out the book, which kept me reading.  The only negative to the book was the girl’s father. I felt he was portrayed as out of touch and uncaring. In a way that was unnecessary. Beyond that character I enjoyed most of the characters in the book, including her crazy Aunt Olympia.

If were to rate this book, then I would give it 3.5 stars. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was well written and fun to read. I would recommend it to any Austen loving reader.

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About the Author:

Mary Jane Hathaway is the pen name of an award-nominated writer who spends the majority of her literary energy on subjects un-related to Jane Austen. A homeschooling mother of six young children who rarely wear shoes, she’s madly in love with a man who has never read Pride and Prejudice. She holds degrees in Religious Studies and Theoretical Linguistics, and has a Jane Austen quote on the back of her van. She can be reached on facebook at ‘Pride, Prejudice, and Cheese Grits’ or her regular author page of Virginia Carmichael (which is another pen name, because she’s just that cool).

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