Writing: 4 Plot: 3 Characters: 4
Modern chick lit version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion complete with posh lifestyles of the rich and famous (Hollywood style) merged with the not-so-posh lifestyles of the poor and academic. A gay, “best bud” professor sidekick adds both pathos and comic relief. Fun, well written, a little obvious as chick lit tends to be but nice and satisfying.
I enjoyed the fact that the heroine is a professor of English literature at a small liberal arts college and that the book didn’t shy away from lauding her (somewhat arcane) passions for women writers of the 19th century, also providing some entertaining and realistic classroom scenes with today’s undergraduates. The story veered away from Austen’s Persuasion quite a bit, and I feel that the primary point of Persuasion – that the heroine had allowed herself to be persuaded away from what she believed to be the right path forward when she was first engaged to the hero – was kind of lost. There was also a line that bothered me – a character in the novel blows off Austen as just “old-fashioned chick lit” to which our heroine replies “so what?”. Austen is a lot more than “old-fashioned chick lit” and it would have been nice for our professorial heroine to elaborate on that theme for at least a paragraph! However, the bottom line is that this is a fun read, with some good LOLs and plenty of likable characters.