We have all of the main characters except the Harvilles and the Crofts. These are some of my favorite characters. Why eliminate them? I just don't get it. The characters who parallel the senior Musgroves are alluded to, but they never actually appear in the book.
There is a character who only appears for about 2 seconds whom I would
liken to Mrs. Smith because she is the
person who tells Annie about the WWE character. She is, in an ironic twist, a doctor. Annie has two very
sensible friends who are in love but they don't realize it, but it is rather obvious that they are not the Admiral and
Mrs. Croft we know and love.
The plot's kind of thin. I don't know if it's because I've read Persuasion
so many times, but I could see the whole
WWE/Mrs. Clay thing a mile away. Edward (WWE) is an embezzler - and Davina (Mrs. Clay) is his accomplice -
and Jake (Frederick) figures it all out well after I did.
The Lady Russell character is rather a cold fish, and here she has a
daughter. It almost seems as if Susannah and
her daughter Cass serve as the two sides of Lady Russell. Sort of a good cop/bad cop kind of thing.
The ending borrows from When Harry Met Sally. Annie gets her Letter
(typed on a word processor and not
nearly as romantic as the original) because Jake overhears her telling Susannah (over an intercom!) that she has
never stopped loving him. Well, just like WHMS, it's New Year's Eve in New York (not Bath) and Jake tells her to
meet him at a party in the Plaza Hotel. Cliche, cliche, cliche.
This book is no Persuasion (well, what could be???), but it's not even
as enjoyable as the author's debut novel,
Pride, Prejudice & Jasmin Field. In short, don't bother.
Annie Markham is our heroine and I think that she is a plausible 21st Century woman. She has a job and releases her frustrations through karate. Our hero, Jake Mead is also a modern man; he is not macho, but is sensitive. Lady Russell has become Annie's godmother and the Financial Director of her father's company, Susannah Brooke, and her daughter, Cassandra. George Markham may be more shallow and selfish than Sir Walter Elliot. And like Sir Walter, he and his eldest and favorite daughter (here called Katherine) have wasted away their considerable fortune. They have a PR firm that is losing so much money that Susannah calls in a consulting firm, which happens to be run by Jake Mead, to find a way to save the company.
Annie and Jake meet and fall in love while in college. Annie thinks that she is pregnant so they decide to elope. She confides in her best friend, Cassandra, who tells her mother. Simultaneously, Annie learns that she is just late, not pregnant, and Susannah convinces her not to elope. Jake gets angry and leaves. Both Annie and Jake are angry for seven years until they are thrown together seven years later and rediscover each other.
Most of JA's characters are present and a few are added. I did not see what Joy and Marlon added to the story, but I do not complain about their presence. The plot progresses just as Persuasion does with few changes. There is even a letter! although it is not nearly so powerful and beautiful as the JA original. All ends happily. I was enjoying it so much, that I hated to see it end.
I found this novel to be a fun and easy read. I highly recommend it.