Image of By the Book: A Book Club Recommendation!


Image of By the Book: A Book Club Recommendation!

Sonneborn’s debut novel brings Jane Austen’s final novel of Persuasion into the 21st century with gently cynical humor, nostalgia and a clear passion for literature. While Sonneborn clearly understands Austen’s sensibility and insight, and uses it to good effect, there are some elements of the original plot that don’t translate so neatly to the present, particularly the pretensions and lies that take place within the love triangle and the consequences for all involved. As a result, the ending feels rushed, even though there is a great of deal of charm in the earnest love that grows and matures between these older-but-wiser protagonists.

Assistant professor Anne Corey is desperately trying to secure tenure at her California college and finish her book all while caring for her ailing father. The last thing she needs is distractions — which is precisely when she learns that Adam Martinez, her one-time love and ex-fiancé, has been named the president of the college. Even though Anne is enjoying a burgeoning romance with a college coworker, no matter how hard she tries to put the past behind her, she can’t seem to avoid Adam — or all the feelings for him she was sure were far in the past. (GALLERY, Feb., 384 pp., $16.00)
Reviewed by: 
Bridget Keown