Friday, January 18, 2008

Book Review: "Possibilities" by Debra White Smith

Don't be a pushover Allie wanted to marry Frederick. Unfortunately he's the gardener and she's a rich society girl. Advice from her family tells her to reject him, which she does. Ten years later, her family is in debt. Frederick is now a war hero with military honors. However he hasn't forgotten how Allie rejected him. Now the two must face each other again bringing back memories of rejection and lost love. A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. I haven't read Persuasion yet (I know, the horror!) but I did recently see a BBC version on Masterpiece Theater this past week. I enjoyed the story very much and even more so because I had just finished this modern retelling of it. It's a light read that romance readers are sure to enjoy. Even if you have no clue who Jane Austen is, the story is written for the romance lover in mind, perfect for a cozy afternoon read. While I did enjoy the story, there were a couple little things that really bugged me while reading. The main distraction was the overly exaggerated Southern talk from Landon. I didn't see the need to write her dialogue in this fashion, honestly it looked like poor English. It would have been more easier to just say that she was from the South and left it as that.

The other little irk that got me (and it happens quite a bit in Christian fiction) is when age differences are discussed, 10 year age differences are always declared as "I'm nearly old enough to be your father!" With all the huge age differences between couples these days, this type of comment is very annoying and seems to be quite dated. Also while it would have made sense for Anne Elliot to not be able to do anything because of what her father and society demanded of her in the 1800s, it's quite different for Allie. It's the 21st century and she can't get a job at 35 because her father says no? Unfortunately for me, this was my least favorite book of the series. While I like the Persuasion story very much, it just did not seem to ring true to a modern setting. Allie comes off too much as a pushover who cannot make up her own mind at all even more so than Anne did in the original book. So my final verdict is as a romance story it's a wonderful read, as a modern retelling of a great classic a little tweaking in some places would help out a lot.

Possibilities by Debra White Smith is published by Harvest House (2007)

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