Yes, I watched the recent Persuasion adaptation, and sorry, it was not a 10 for me. I am all for remixing classics for modern audiences. For classics to remain timeless, they must evolve and be relatable to modern society. However, that is what this adaptation failed to do. It worked too hard on making Persuasion relatable to a 2022 audience that the film forgot to capture the theme and essence of the novel itself. Adaptations will always have changes, but it is how you present your love and passion for the medium, and I felt there wasn’t there.
Or maybe you are a different opinion and love the film. Whatever your feelings are, seeing the film gave you the Persuasion bug and wanting to look for more interpretations of the novel. Here are ten charming retellings that I hope will not disappoint you. Some are direct adaptations, and others have similar themes to the classic. Nevertheless, here are some great retellings that show Persuasion is a great novel that indeed shows Austen’s talent:
Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev
Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen?
Rico Silva, that’s what.
Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.
FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn’t too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he’s definitely over her.
But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico. Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak–or a recipe for persuasion…? (Credit: William Morrow & Company)
The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot
Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles–including a broken heart–behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit. Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.
Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns–until his family hires her to save his parents.
Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another–or the memories of that one fateful night. And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they–and the entire town of Bloomville–might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back. (Credit: William Morrow & Company)
Where the Rhythm Takes You by Sarah Dass
Seventeen-year-old Reyna has spent most of her life at the Plumeria, her family’s gorgeous seaside resort in Tobago. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother passed away, two years since Aiden–her childhood best friend, first kiss, first love, first everything–left the island to pursue his music dreams.
Reyna’s friends are all planning their futures and heading abroad. Even Daddy seems to want to move on, leaving her to try to keep the Plumeria running.
And that’s when Aiden comes roaring back into her life–as a VIP guest at the resort.
Aiden is now one-third of DJ Bacchanal–the latest, hottest music group on the scene. While Reyna has stayed exactly where he left her, Aiden has returned to Tobago with his Grammy-nominated band and two gorgeous LA socialites. And he may (or may not be) dating one of them… (Credit: Balze + Bray)
The Carriage House by Louisa Hall
For more than thirty years, William Adair’s faith in life was based on two indisputable principles: the exceptional good looks and athletic talents of his three daughters and the historical status of his family in their Philadelphia suburb. After suffering a stroke, William wakes up in his hospital bed to realize that his world has collapsed: his children are less extraordinary than he had remembered and his family’s notable history has been forgotten.
William’s daughters–all tennis champions in their youth–are in decline. Having lost their father’s pride, the three sisters struggle to define themselves. Their mother, whose memory has started to fade, is unable to help them recall the talented girls they used to be.
For three generations, a carriage house has stood on the Adair property. Built by William’s grandfather, it was William’s childhood refuge and a sign of the family’s prominence. Now held captive by a neighbor due to a zoning error, the house has decayed beyond recognition and may even be condemned.
Rallying to save their father, Diana, Elizabeth, and Isabelle take on the battle for the carriage house that once stood as a symbol of their place in the world. Overcoming misunderstandings and betrayals both deep in the past and painfully new, each of the Adairs ultimately finds a place of forgiveness. (Credit: Scribner Book Company)
All Stirred Up by Brianne Moore
Susan Napier’s family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it’s up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot’s, the flagship in Edinburgh.
But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather’s former protégé–and her ex-boyfriend–is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other’s orbit–and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over.
As Chris’s restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot’s back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story–and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness? (Credit: Alcove Press)
By the Book by Julia Sonneborn
Anne Corey is about to get schooled. An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez–her first love and ex-fiancé–shows up as the college’s new president. Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love. Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all. (Credit: Gallery Books)
I’m So (Not) Over You by Kosoko Jackson
It’s been months since aspiring journalist Kian Andrews has heard from his ex-boyfriend, Hudson Rivers, but an urgent text has them meeting at a café. Maybe Hudson wants to profusely apologize for the breakup. Or confess his undying love. . . But no, Hudson has a favor to ask–he wants Kian to pretend to be his boyfriend while his parents are in town, and Kian reluctantly agrees.T
he dinner doesn’t go exactly as planned, and suddenly Kian is Hudson’s plus one to Georgia’s wedding of the season. Hudson comes from a wealthy family where reputation is everything, and he really can’t afford another mistake. If Kian goes, he’ll help Hudson preserve appearances and get the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the biggest names in media. This could be the big career break Kian needs.
But their fake relationship is starting to feel like it might be more than a means to an end, and it’s time for both men to fact-check their feelings. (Credit: Berkley Books)
The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne
Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?
But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets. (Credit: Clarion Books)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates–and any survivors living there.
Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.
Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right. (Credit: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen)
The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.
Now, ten years later, Ruby is single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about what it will be like to see Ethan again, who just so happens to be the best man.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago. Because there is nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .(Credit: Penguin Books)
And Of Course…Read the Original
The original is always the best. And rereading anything by Jane Austen is always a treat but reading Persuasion really shows her true talent and what it could of been if she didn’t die so young.
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