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Monday, August 23, 2010

Anne Elliot: A New Beginning by Mary Lydon Simonsen

Anne Elliot, A New Beginning: A Persuasion Re-imaginingPublisher:CreateSpace
ISBN: 1451524706
Pages: 238 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Sequel-Persuasion
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge

Summary (from Publisher):

On Anne Elliot's 25th birthday, her family declared her to be a spinster, but instead of being downcast by this change in status, she finds it to be quite liberating. As a result of her new-found freedom, Anne becomes a long-distance runner, and this activity greatly increases her confidence. It is this new Anne who Captain Frederick Wentworth meets when he sees the love of his life after eight years of separation. The Captain admires the changes in Anne, and he finds that he is falling in love with her all over again. However, there is a complication. The heir to Kellynch, the Elliot estate, William Elliot, has also come back into the picture after an estrangement with Anne's father, Sir Walter Elliot, and he has set his sights on Anne. Now living in Bath, Anne senses that something is not right, and with the help of a street urchin named Swoosh, she sets out to discover what William Elliot is really like.
My Review:

In this adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Anne Elliot is tired of being a pushover. She has lost the love of her life because she let herself be influenced by Lady Russell and is constantly ignored by her father and sister. She begins a regular regimen of running and exercise. She gains confidence strength to tell all of these morons where to stick it through these activities. She is also able to make Captain Wentworth fall in love with her again by showing him that she will not be influenced by anyone again and that she is a stronger woman.

I love Anne Elliot. She has always been the one character that should have annoyed me but I just can’t help but love her. Every time I pick up Persuasion, I hope to find a newer, stronger Anne but she is always the same pushover. I am not intending to insult her but, you have to admit, that as much as you love her, she still is a bit of a pushover. I was so happy to pick up a book and find that Anne has become stronger and more independent. I also love how we got to know Captain Wentworth better. I have always been curious about his motives during his flirtation with Louisa. It always angered me a little although I could see his reasons for it. Swoosh, the streetwise orphan that befriends both Anne and Captain Wentworth, was awesome. He was so spunky, intelligent and quite adorable. He was one of the biggest highlights of the book.

This book was a treasure that I really thought I wouldn’t like and wouldn’t be believable. I mean, the idea of a Jane Austen character taking up running was as plausible to me as having Mr. Darcy walk to the middle of the drawing room and start doing the chicken dance. So yeah not plausible. If the thought of Anne running was implausible, the thought of her gaining a backbone was darn near impossible. However, the way that Simonsen altered the story was ingenious.  Anne changes so much because of one decision. It was amazing how Simonsen could pull such a subtle shift in character and plot without it being too outlandish.

If you are a fan of Jane Austen sequels and are looking for something different, pick this one up. I am looking forward to Simonsen's next Jane Austen adaptation, The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy, coming out in January.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  1. Thank you, Grace, for your wonderful review. This is one of those books where you have to let go and go with the flow, and you did. I loved your review, and I hope others will find the new Anne Alliot to be amusing as well.

  2. I actually spelled Anne Elliot wrong! Ugh! BTW, I loved the idea of Captain Wentworth doing the chicken dance. LOL



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