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February 6, 2018

Review: By the Book by Julia Sonnborn

by Elisabeth Scherer

There are two things I think of when I think of February. First of course is Valentine's Day. The second thing I think of is I love to read month!  Back when I was in elementary school we would do a readathon during February and I indulged with relish.  Now my six-year-old son is gearing up for the same tradition this month. It is wonderful to see him excited to read new books.
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By the Book Julia Sonnborn
February 2018; Gallery Books; 978-1501175183
audio, ebook, print (384 pages)
 women's fiction
So wrapping reading and Valentine's Day up into one book. By the Book by Julia Sonnborn is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen's classic romance - PersuasionPersuasion is my all time favorite book. In case you haven't read Persuasion, let me give you a brief summary:

The story begins about eight years before the book starts. Anne Elliot is betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but breaks off the engagement when persuaded by a close family friend that the match was not ideal. Anne deeply regrets breaking off the engagement. Now the story begins and Wentworth returns from war rich and a successful captain. He finds Anne's family close to financial ruin, letting out the family's estate to none other than Wentworth's sister. The main question is will these two characters rekindle their love?

Doesn't it sound wonderful? So when the opportunity to read an updated version came around I jumped at it. There have been several updated versions of other Jane Austen's books but my two favorites are usually left out.

By the Book follows Anne Corey, an English professor who is trying to get tenure, and her revelation that her ex-fiance has been named the new president of her college. Frequent run-ins with her former flame has Anne examining her feelings about the one that got away while juggling an attempt to land a book deal to secure her job at the college and a new relationship with a writer teaching in residency in her department.

Definitely, a far cry from Regency Era England This book hit all the wonderful nuances of Austen's Persuasion. Interesting and realistic characters. This Anne is as loveable as the original. As a reader, I was frustrated at the obstacles that Anne faced, concern for Anne's aging father, and hope as Anne navigates relationships.  I found myself laughing and loving Anne's relationship with best friend Larry.

I would definitely recommend this book for a light read that could help you rack up minutes on your I love to read readathon!

Buy By the Book at Amazon

Elisabeth Scherer grew up in a very small town in Minnesota but now lives in the lovely Pacific Northwest where she spends most of her time raising her two young children. She and her husband have a large collection of books that takes a good space of their small condo. When she's not reading she has a variety of hobbies that include crocheting, drawing, baking, cooking, and movie watching.

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