I liked the chance to "get to know," so to speak, Harville and Benwick (albeit through the author's eyes) as they are characters I've always liked.
Mostly, I thought Kaye did a good job putting fresh perspective into a familiar story- even though I knew where the plot was going, I was still very interested in getting there. I'm looking forward to the second part.
I have read the first draft of the first three chapters in the next book on the Crownhill Writers site. They left me a little underwhelmed. Some of the characters again are protrayed in a harsh light. Still, it is only a first draft and imagine it will go through a lot of changes by the time we see the final book.
This volume covers the time from the "year 06" until Captain Wentworth returns to Uppercross to give the Musgroves the news of Louisa's accident. We have scenes from the ship as they reach port. A visit from Captain Harville, here named Timothy, to tell Frederick that his sister Fanny has died. He is quite relieved when our courageous Captain volunteers to break the news to Captain Benwick. This takes a couple of chapters and we are aomong the sailors who celebrate their victories ashore and aboard. Captain Benwick is devastated and Captain Wentworth is compassionate, just as we expect him to be.
As the Captain visits with his sister and the Admiral, the action continues as in Persuasion. Upon learning that Frederick has been acquainted with Anne Elliot in the past, Sophia is quite curious and asks pointed questions. The personalities of all the occupants of Somersetshire are enhanced, but the additions are completely plausible. Often, I even wondered if Jane Austen had written certain incidents. Though Frederick's request of Anne's hand from her father is not as I remember, it is not in the least objectionable.
I always felt that Frederick was a bit harsh and unfeeling when he said that Anne had changed so much that he would not have known her. Ms. Kaye puts this remark in a context that makes it much more acceptable. Another thing that I particularly enjoyed was seeing his changing feelings toward Louisa as their acquaintance proceeds.
I enjoyted this book very much and look forward to reading the next volume. I recommend that you give it a try.