This lovely retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion from the perspective of Captain Wentworth adds extra depth to this romantic story.

Filled with warmth and affection, Amanda Grange shows a great understanding and respect for Jane Austen’s Persuasion in this charming version of the story.

Filling in the gaps in the story – in particular the background to Captain Wentworth and Anne’s relationship is given extra depth, offering new understanding as to why Captain Wentworth was understandably hurt when she broke their engagement originally. But equally, the story also adds strong characterisations of certain characters that remain in the background in the original, fleshing out the story and relationships between characters nicely.

As so much of the book is concerned with how Anne and Captain Wentworth met, the second part in which they are thrown into each other’s company again tends to feel slightly more rushed in places. It is a shame that there isn’t as much development in Captain Wentworth realising that he was still attracted to Anne as we could want – to see him properly getting to grips with his feelings for her again would have been lovely.

However, this being said, it is a very emotional book and it is not difficult to feel compassion for Captain Wentworth as he rushes to Bath to find out how Anne feels for him but to see her in the company of Mr Elliott and from his perspective enjoying it. Throughout the book, it feels like an emotional rollercoaster but still manages to tie up the story as neatly as the original.

Yet more than this, it shows how Captain Wentworth transformed from being an impulsive and rash character to a someone of maturity and understanding. Grange ensures that we see that transformation in full, while still retaining the spirit of the original book.

This is a well written and enjoyable interpretation of a Jane Austen novel that doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves in comparison to the likes of Sense and Sensibility, Emma or Pride and Prejudice. But thankfully, Amanda Grange shows the reader why it deserves to be acknowledged more in this engaging and enjoyable read.

By Emma Clarendon

Captain Wentworth’s Diary is available now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐