Tag Archives: 19th Century

Born of Persuasion

Title: Born of Persuasion
Author: Jessica Dotta
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-7555-7

“Only weeks away from servanthood, I stood amidst unimaginable wealth, envisioning a new life for myself. I hungered to belong in this sphere – not just for the sake of belonging, but for the sake of my future security. Too long had I stood on the threshold of uncertainty, never quite sure how matters would work out,” Julia ponders in Jessica Dotta’s novel, Born of Persuasion.

In this four hundred and twenty-seven page paperback book, the early nineteenth century obligation that women were physical and financial objects, chosen by parents or others for marriage purposes is the backdrop in this historical, romantic fiction. With no profanity, but light physical romantic interludes and some violence, the book is targeted toward mature Christian women who like a lengthy, developed plot line. This reader wishes all pronouns related to God were capitalized for reverence.

Miss Julia Elliston, a timid, shy seventeen year old has nowhere to go. With her abusive, atheistic father dead and her mother recently passed away, she learns she is now the custody of an anonymous guardian who has plans to send her to Scotland in two months to be a bedridden woman’s companion.

As per the guardian’s directive, Miss Elliston has the opportunity to be married instead of being forced into service, yet the young man she promised her heart to is no longer a viable candidate. Under the guise of a supposedly generous but dominating and harsh ladyship, she agrees to her terms allowing a husband to be sought out for her.

The self-aware, deceptive woman in charge of her introduces her to a man of wealth and means who has dark secrets and a dark past that connects with Julia’s mother and father. At the same time, the unknown guardian demands to prepare Julia for her new position while a vicar tries to lovingly protect her physically and spiritually.

Written in first person, a reader gets caught up in the mannerisms, apparel, lifestyles, decorum, and societal rules of the mid eighteen hundreds as Julia is tormented, used, and shunned due to marital laws, legalities, and lack of women’s rights.

Meticulous in verbiage, descriptions of properties, and regulations, Dotta forces the reader to slow down and relish the writing as twists, turns, and trysts are made between lovers, players, and pawns in a deadly game of love and revenge.

This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in exchange for review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun, Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Fiction

Second Impressions

Second Impressions

Author: Ava Farmer
Publisher: Chawton House Press
ISBN: 0-97816136475-0-9

For over twenty six years, Ava Farmer has cherished, loved and engrossed herself in the writings of Jane Austen. As a tribute to her obviously favorite author and her abundance of meticulous research over decades, Farmer has written an extensive sequel to the famous Pride and Prejudice in her novel based ten years later, Second Impressions: A Novel.

This hard cover book has a drawing of a proper mid-nineteenth century dressed English woman writing a letter with a quill on the front cover and paragraphs about the book and a review on the back. It is divided into two volumes, at one hundred and ninety four pages and at two hundred and six pages respectively. Although there are punctuation, capitalization, grammar and spelling errors, they appear to be intentional, reverting back to the time period and similar to Austen’s prose. In addition and supposedly in keeping with Austen’s “stile,” the bottom of each page has the first word listed from the next page perhaps to engage the reader.  There is an interesting five page epilogue that explains the writer’s courageous intentions.

For Austen fans of Pride and Prejudice, Farmer continues the story’s love of the Bennett family now in post-Napoleon England, mainly concentrating on the Darcy kinfolk a decade later. With Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy living in Pemberley with his sister Georgiana, the other four Bennett sisters and their families are mentioned and updated intermittently. True to the prior novel, marrying off female family members to wealthy suitors verses espousing by love is the main theme. With a plethora of travels throughout England, Paris, Switzerland and the dirty Italy, the three main characters compare their lots in life, materialistic advantages (and sometimes lack thereof), upper end status in society, new scientific inventions or choice of clothing against friends, new acquaintances and family relations, sometimes with dry, sarcastic wit.

In this sequel, there appears less dialogue, conversation and bantering among the characters and more detailed, descriptive and comprehensive places they travel, societal expectations and criticisms and historical background. At times the reader feels bogged down in the technical as if it is a travelogue, wanting to jump to the emotional, personal joys and disappointments of each self-inflected individual.

The heart of the book is the unrequited love that finally blossoms between Georgiana and her cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam who has nurtured, known and bares his soul to her without realizing it throughout the years.

Although there have been a few rewrites or postscripts to the renowned novel, Farmer’s deep commitment and love of divulging herself into Austen’s writing world has paid off in her dutiful work of fiction. Not only would this novel be enjoyed by Austen enthusiasts, but would make a wonderful supplement to any college class on women and their attitudes during the mid-eighteen hundreds.

Posted July 2012:

http://www.bookpleasures.com/websitepublisher/articles/5167/1/Second-Impressions-A-Novel-Reviewed-By-Conny-Crisalli-of-Bookpleasurescom/Page1.html

http://www.amazon.com/review/RY8LY1IYA6RMJ

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Fiction