Review & Giveaway: Perception by Emily Ann Benedict {Part of the Vintage Jane Austen Blog Tour}

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Hello, reading friends!

Awhile ago now, I came across the announcement that several authors – some of whom I knew – were embarking on (what I think is) a really wonderfully fun project – taking Jane Austen’s classic novels and adapting the stories to fit into 1930s America. My sister Londie introduced me to Jane Austen’s work long ago, and, like many of you, no doubt, I’ve loved each one of Austen’s novels as I’ve read them, ever since.
Thus, when the opportunity came along to be a part of the blog tour celebrating this Vintage Jane Austen collection’s release… Of course, I wanted to join! ๐Ÿ™‚ Below you’ll find out what I thought of Perception by Emily Ann Benedict, as well as a giveaway.

The Book: Perception by Emily Ann Benedict

An Adaptation / Retelling of Persuasion by Jane Austen

Backcover:

Upstate New York, 1930. Thirteen years ago, Abbey Evans was persuaded to break off her engagement to a penniless soldier headed to the front lines of the Great War. A daughter of one of Americaโ€™s wealthiest families could never be allowed to marry so far beneath herself. But Black Tuesday changed everything. With her family’s prominence now little more than a facade, Abbey faces the loss of her childhood home. As if that werenโ€™t enough, the only man she ever loved has returned after making his fortune โ€“ and he wants nothing to do with the young woman he courted before the war. With the past forever out of reach, the time has come for Abbey decide her own fate, before it is too lateโ€ฆ

What I Thought:

This adaptation follows the beloved tale very closely. While I’ve not read Persuasion for a few years, it’s my favorite of Jane Austen’s classics, and so I appreciated that Ms. Benedict didn’t take too many liberties with an already-perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ plot. Many of the characters translated beautifully into 1930s New England and retained the really humorous slant by which Austen portrayed them. Austen enthusiasts will recognize and relish (and want even more of!) Charlie and Miriam, as well as Holly and Lilly. Austen’s “Anne” becomes Benedict’s “Abbey”, and her character is highly recognizable as well. This very close following of the original may not be every reader’s cup-of-tea, but, as a reader, I delight more in the way a story is told than in the unexpected elements, so this was just fine for me! ๐Ÿ™‚

The author highlights the personal growth of Anne/Abbey as well as Freddy/Captain Wentworth, something that sometimes is more difficult to understand in the original. This propelled the story beyond being “merely” a romance, and I appreciated the authenticity of its portrayal.

One of the only qualms I had with the novel was the way that Anne/Abbey rolled her eyes quite a lot in response to the (often-ridiculous) behavior of her family members. This was a little thing, but it seemed out-of-character for an otherwise-polite young woman, and it struck me as disrespectful toward those at whom she was rolling her eyes. Thankfully, this tapers off as the book continues, and there is enough good to strongly outweigh this. ๐Ÿ™‚

As someone who lived in New England for much of my life and has visited some of the areas depicted in the novel, I really enjoyed the descriptions of the sea and of 1930s Boston. This is not a “heavy” historical novel, but it gives the place/time feeling of the 1930s in a light and entertaining way.

Some quotes that I relished and that reminded me of Austen’s original were:

Abbey nearly laughed. “Mr. Martin, do you know what’s even more attractive to a girl than ‘dash’? … Love. Real love that is honest and open and committed.”

~~~

“I would much rather walk slowly beside the man I love than dance with a man I care nothing for.”

~~~

“I fear for anyone unwilling to stand by his convictions, or even unable to stand up against the weight of another’s opinion. How can life be happy unless we know who we are, and stay true to ourselves?”

~~~

“A lifetime alone by her own choice was infinitely better than marrying for the sake of being married.”

In all, I really enjoyed readingย Perception, and, if you’re a Jane Austen fan, I think you might, too! Overall, it was refreshing and entertaining. It would also be a good introduction to Austen for people for whom the originals might be too dense. It’s available HERE as an e-book and HERE as a softcover. {Personally, I may be getting it for Christmas for a Jane-Austen lover in my family! ๐Ÿ™‚ }

To learn more about Emily Ann Benedict, the author ofย Perception,ย click on the graphic below:

And Now for a Giveaway! ๐Ÿ™‚

As part of this blog event, the authors are giving away a $25 Amazon gift card ~ Please feel welcome to enter below! ๐Ÿ™‚ And after that, come over to my house so that we can all watch a nice Jane Austen film together ๐Ÿ™‚ ~ Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth, of course!), anyone? ๐Ÿ˜‰

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the author and was in no way required to post a positive review.

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6 Comments, RSS

  1. Raechel November 8, 2017 @ 12:06 pm

    Great review! I read and thoroughly enjoyed this one too! Because yes, “Persuasion” is one my favourites! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • alicia grace November 9, 2017 @ 8:01 pm

      I don’t even know what it is about it that makes it my favorite, but it is! ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad to hear that you enjoyed this one, too ~ I need to hop over to read your review!

  2. Emily Benedict November 9, 2017 @ 5:32 am

    Thank you so much for your review, Alicia! I’m really happy to hear, as a fan of the original, you enjoyed my version as well. That makes my day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • alicia grace November 9, 2017 @ 8:02 pm

      Perception was a joy to read, Emily! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for offering it for review!

  3. Tina at Mommynificent November 15, 2017 @ 3:30 am

    This series sounds fabulous! I hope to have a chance to read them someday! Thank you for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

    • alicia grace November 16, 2017 @ 6:59 pm

      I hope that you get a chance to, Tina! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve only to read Perception so far, but the other ones look interesting as well.

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