Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Classic Retold Through His Eyes, by Regina Jeffers – A Review

Guest review by Kimberly Denny-Ryder of Reflections of a Book Addict

There are few readers of Jane Austen’s Persuasion who have finished the novel and not been more than a little in love with the dashing Captain Frederick Wentworth. His famous “you pierce my soul” letter to heroine Anne Elliot is one of the most moving love letters in literary history. Happily, author Regina Jeffers has given his fans another opportunity to relive the story in Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion. Entirely retold through his eyes via flashbacks and expanded sequences in the present, we are offered the same classic love story, but from an entirely new perspective.

Frederick Wentworth and Anne Elliot were engaged once upon a time. Anne was persuaded not to marry him due to his low standing in society and his lack of fortune. Being the daughter of a baronet she was expected to marry someone of good fortune and high social standing. Eight years later their paths cross again, but with reversed financial circumstances. He is now a wealthy Captain returned from the war, and the Elliot family is so far in debt they must retrench and rent out their family estate of Kellynch Hall to Frederick’s sister Sophy and her husband Admiral Croft. When Frederick and Anne are reunited, they must discover if they still love each other, or if they are lost to each other forever.

“I created a quagmire.  When I first went to Uppercross, I purposely entertained the attention of Miss Musgrove.  I needed Anne to see how others wanted me, even though she did not.  I played games for which I now must pay.  Lately, I decided I still wanted Anne, but I knew I had to distance myself from Louisa Musgrove, before I could plead my case with Miss Anne.”

With Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion, the entire story is infused with new life due to the strong characterizations that Ms. Jeffers writes. In the original Persuasion you know that Frederick stayed with his brother for a period of time that is not discussed in the novel. In Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion Jeffers creates the whole time period of their stay, essentially writing the character of Frederick’s brother Edward. She created a rich relationship that unlocked another portion of Frederick which was previously undiscovered.

My biggest disappointment in the novel was what Ms. Jeffers did to the character of Louisa Musgrove. She made her out to be a grudging, jealous, and immature character that just did not seem to fit with the character Austen originally created. Austen had Louisa become engaged to Captain Benwick due to a change in her personality from her fall at the Cobb at Lyme. In Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion I saw no change from the frivolous girl she was prior to her serious injury and recovery.

I absolutely loved this novel. Most Jane Austen inspired retellings that I’ve read just give the same story that Austen wrote without much of the author’s own creativity. Ms. Jeffers takes Austen’s story and gives it back to the reader in a new way, taking the events we know to have happened, but expanding on them. She takes what happens after the wedding and tells their past, present and future all at the same time.  It made the book fly by. I was done with it before I even realized it.

Previously published in 2009 as Wayward Love: Captain Wentworth’s Story, I highly recommend this book to any Persuasion fan. I can safely say that you will not be disappointed with it. The scenes and events that Ms. Jeffers creates for the unwritten scenes in Persuasion really do shed new light on the characters that we know and love.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Classic Retold Through His Eyes, by Regina Jeffers
Ulysses Press (2010)
Trade paperback (236) pages
ISBN: 978-1569757765

© 2007 – 2010 Kimberly Denny-Ryder Austenprose

8 thoughts on “Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion: Jane Austen’s Classic Retold Through His Eyes, by Regina Jeffers – A Review

  1. Pingback: Guest Review of Captain Wentworth’s Persuasion by Regina Jeffers « Reflections of a Book Addict

  2. Loved the review. Captain Wentworth is defnitely my fave Austen hero – very mature and dependable kind of man, so unlike the selfish and immature men real life men we hear and see around us. And who could recover from his famous letter to Anne at the end? oh, I need to re-read Persuasion and remind myself “the way we can find a man like Darcy/Wentworth is to make him up!” sigh.

    Like

  3. Pingback: Great Jane Austen Inspired Blogs Keep Janeites Connected and a Grand Austenesque Book Giveaway! « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

  4. This novel has received very positive reviews – but did anyone notice that the gentleman in the red coat on the cover would have caught Lydia & Kitty Bennet’s eye and not Anne Elliott’s? Captain Wentworth was in the Royal Navy and not the Army. He should be in blue. Sometimes book designers don’t do their homework.

    Great review Kim – thanks again.

    Cheers, LA

    Like

  5. Kimberley, I am not sure even after your raving review I will attempt this. I read Regina Jeffers’ Darcy’s Passions back in 2008 and could not stop rolling my eyes. And even thinking about that book gets my eyes rolling. I wrote this in an Amazon review after I first read Darcy’s Passions,

    “I regret this novel has been difficult to get through. Not that the language was challenging (because Jeffers paraphrases almost all of Jane Austen’s original words and dialogue into easy modern language) or that the story is far fetched. It’s just dull. It seems that JA’s original has been dumbed down, and lacks all the wit and amusement of the original. In reading each page, I felt as if I was in a classroom lecture and being dictated to regarding every nuance, detail and character in JA’s masterpiece.”

    But I thought to read your review because heck, Darcy’s Passions was her debut novel and her writing might have improved. But I fear the same may ring true for me in this latest offering, case in point, your review’s selected quote,

    “I created a quagmire. When I first went to Uppercross, I purposely entertained the attention of Miss Musgrove. I needed Anne to see how others wanted me, even though she did not. I played games for which I now must pay. Lately, I decided I still wanted Anne, but I knew I had to distance myself from Louisa Musgrove, before I could plead my case with Miss Anne.”

    It seems Jeffer’s writing style is to explain everything and leave nothing for the reader to speculate or feel compelled to keep reading. But I am glad you liked it. (And it looks like I may be in the minority when I say I’ll pass on CaptWentworth’s Persuasion.) Might I recommend Capt Wentworth’s Diary by Amanda Grange? I LERVED that!

    BTW, You did a good job reviewing this.

    Like

Please join in and have your share of the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.