Amanda Grange's writing style is always very pleasant to read, and this book
is no different. She continues along the theme of Jane Austen stories told from the hero's point of view, supposedly in diary form (although I doubt any gentlemen of that era would have written diaries quite like these!).
Captain Wentworth is the hero of Persuasion, a book which starts eight years after the characters first met, became engaged, broke the engagement and moved on to separate lives. In Amanda Grange's book, almost half of the text is given up to that time in 1806 when Wentworth and Miss Anne Elliot first meet and fall in love. We
watch them meet and spend a little time with each other, as Wentworth gradually
realizes Anne's value and their compatible minds and ideas. The second half of the book follows Austen's story from Wentworth's point of view, with many scenes and dialogue the same and others extended. Much less attention is paid
here to some of the other characters (for example, the younger Mr.
Elliot), and the book seems to go by quite quickly.
Although we are reading events and feelings written by Captain Wentworth, I didn't feel I knew him any better after this book than I had from reading Austen's, and Anne less so.
Still, the story is enjoyable even if one knows how it will end, and the author
doesn't take any liberties with Austen's ideas. There are a few little slips into American English (the verb 'to quit'
is used a few times, and the concept of 'visiting with' someone used in a non-English
way), but mostly this is a success that will appeal to most Austen fans, particularly those who would have liked to know how Wentworth and Anne Elliot first got to know each other.