I spent last week in Lower Michigan visiting my family with my three kids. Part of our Michigan trip each year is to take the Badger Ferry boat across Lake Michigan with our car, and then drive the three hours remaining to where my parents live. The Badger has a variety of activities that keep my kids happy, much happier than sitting in traffic on a long drive through Chicago. One place they like to visit is the Badger boutique. I was looking through the books for sale and came across Persuaded. I thought, could this be a modern Jane Austen tale? I did a quick flip-through and discovered it was a modern Jane Austen tale set on Mackinac Island and in the Upper Peninsula.
Ann Elliot worked for one beautiful summer on Mackinac Island before college and there met a young, handsome carriage driver, Frederick Wentworth. Her family deemed him socially unacceptable and when she never received a letter from him, she tried to forget him as she went off to college and he went to the Coast Guard academy. Five years later, their paths collide again when Frederick’s married sister and brother-in-law rent the Elliot estate in the Upper Peninsula. Ann is instantly attracted to Frederick, but hurt that he forgot her so quickly. Frederick seems smitten with Ann’s sister Mary’s sister-in-law, Louisa. When distant cousin William Elliot shows up on the scene, Ann doesn’t know whether she should be smitten with him or distrustful of him as he always seems to find a way to separate her and Frederick. Will true love prevail?
I loved the local landmarks. Even better was reading this novel on the Badger while the characters make a journey to Ludington and cross the Badger. They also stop in Escanaba on their way back to Mackinac Island. It was also a sweet, unique take on one of my favorite Austen novels, Persuasion.
I didn’t like how the book had a few typos and that the locations sometimes had their correct names, but sometimes were called something else such as St. Ignace and Mackinac Island. I know there are rich people on the island and that vacation in the Upper Peninsula, but I did live in the U.P. for six years and have a hard time imagining a society matron such as Ann’s Aunt Jewell existing there. She was a fun character, but I had a hard time with it.
Overall, Persuaded is a light and fun version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion with a modern twist and nice local setting. It’s more fun if you don’t get wrapped up in the details.
Book Source: Purchased from the Badger Ferry Boutique