Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Persuade Me by Juliet Archer

Persuade Me is a novel that I literally could not put down once I started reading it. When it arrived in the mail via the “Royal Post” from England, I was already intrigued. Besides the aura of it journeying from the land I would someday love to visit, it has a very beautiful cover. And it happens to be a modern day spin on my favorite Austen novel besides Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion. No offense to Mr. Darcy, but it is about time that my other favorite Austen hero, Captain Wentworth got some attention.

In Persuade Me, Juliet Archer has created a perfect modern day story based on Austen’s Persuasion. Persuasion is a hard story to bring to a modern setting. Why would a woman allow her father and godmother to persuade her to not marry the man of her dreams in this day and age? Archer is able to convincingly write about this point and stick to the main story, but bring it to a modern day setting. I especially love how she was able to keep the essence of the original characters while also modernizing and bringing something new to all of them.

Anna Elliot is a professor of Russian Literature in Bath. She lives in an apartment of a house belonging to her friend Jenny Smith, and leads a happy professional life. Her love life on the other hand is stagnating. Ten years ago, she fell in love with the handsome Rick Wentworth while working in France. Rick Wentworth tried to persuade her to move with him to Australia, but she was persuaded by her father and godmother “Minty” to give Rick up and to continue her studies at the University as her late mother would have wished.

Anna has never connected with anyone again as she connected with Rick. Now all of these years later, Rick is a successful Marine biologist and celebrity after the publication of his work entitled “Sex in the Sea.” He is returning to England for a promotional tour for his new book, and to visit his sister who is renting the lodge at Anna’s family’s estate. Rick has neither forgotten nor forgiven Anna. He wants to try his best to ignore her and move on. Will Rick and Anna be able to make peace with their past and move on? Or will they find themselves drawn back together?

I loved Rick and Anna, but I also loved all of the secondary characters as well. I loved Anna’s crazy family. I especially loved how the youngest Eliot sister who is a hypochondriac and is always complaining has been changed from Mary to Mona. I laughed every time I read her name and imagined her moaning or complaining about her lot in life. Archer did an amazing job of realizing the important attributes of each character and making the modern equivalent true to those attributes, but in an updated way. I was constantly astounded at how perfect each character was in Persuade Me.

I also adored how Archer was able to keep the same elements of the plot of Persuasion throughout the novel, but also was able to add fresh twists, such as Rick being a famous author and doing book tours. It was a perfect combination, and done far better than most modernizations that I have read. I found myself racing through the book, wondering how it was all going to end. Persuade Me a fresh twist to a classic tale.

Overall Persuade Me is the perfect modern update to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, while also being a great modern love story that can stand on its own two feet. I highly recommend it to all of my fellow lovers of all things Austen as well as anyone looking for a great love story to read  I am really looking forward to Archer's planned modernizations of the rest of Austen's novels.  And I really need to get my hands on The Importance of Being Emma!

Persuade Me will be out on September 15th.

Book Source: Review Copy from Juliet Archer. Thank-you!


  1. how interesting!! i hadn't heard of this one yet!

  2. Dear Laura, I am thrilled by your review - thank you! You've captured exactly what I wanted to achieve with this novel.

  3. I am so glad to see you enjoyed it. I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy because Persuasion is my favorite book and favorite Austen, and I'd love to see more retellings of it.

  4. Now that I have discovered your blog here (first time visiting) I all the more appreciate your comment over on That was only my second published review and I am just lately into fiction, having read almost entirely non-fiction my entire life. I only discovered the wonderful world of Jane Austen 3+ years ago and am rapidly trying to make up for lost time. I truly hope my reviews reveal my love and enthusiasm for this narrowly defined genre' of fiction. Proud to be in the "fellowship of the unashamed:" men who love all things Jane Austen and period romances. Thanks for the opportunity to share.