By Jennifer Abella
We all know nothing can compare to Jane Austen’s novels, of course. But the fun thing about reading retellings and updates of her novels is seeing the imaginative ways authors can reshape her stories in various media, genres and settings. Have you read any of these updates of “Persuasion”? What others would you recommend?
Persuade Me: In Juliet Archer’s contemporary retelling, Anna must face the return of her ex, marine biologist turned celebrity scientist Rick Wentworth.
None But You/For You Alone: Susan Kaye’s duology imagines Austen’s story through Captain Wentworth’s eyes, with flashbacks to his earlier courtship of Anne and details about what might have happened on his visit to his brother in Shropshire after Louisa’s fall.
The Boy Is Back: “Persuasion” is a clear influence in Meg Cabot’s new romantic comedy centering on Becky, a consultant helping an aging couple move to a new home. The hitch: The couple are the parents of her ex-boyfriend Reed, a professional golfer who returns home after a long absence to help his family. The book is told in a thoroughly modern epistolary style — through text messages, chats, emails and journal entries.
Always You: In this sixth installment of Cecelia Gray’s “Jane Austen Academy” series, Anne is a student at a California boarding school that’s about to shut down when her ex-boyfriend returns.
For Darkness Shows the Stars: This novel sets the action in a dystopian future in which technology has been outlawed. Intriguing! Stay tuned: Next week, we’ll have an interview with author Diana Peterfreund about how she put her unique spin on “Persuasion.”
Another Little Piece of My Heart: In Tracey Martin’s update, Claire is vacationing at the beach when her ex, Jared, who happens to be a rising rock star, unexpectedly comes back into her life.
Project Persuasion: This contemporary update was told over the course of a year, through blog posts, images and social media.