Synopsis: When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it’s an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house that Jane Austen lived in. But, Sophie’s neglected ancestral home is harbouring more than the antiquated furniture and nesting mice, though initially Sophie tries to dismiss the haunting visions of a young girl. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie’s story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion (from the author’s site)
Searching for Captain Wentworth is different from Jane Odiwe’s previous Austen-inspired novels, Willoughby’s Return and Mr Darcy’sSecret. Not only because it deals mainly with characters and events connected with Austen’s last novel, Persuasion - while the others continued the stories of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice respectively - but especially because the author adds a spicy ingredient to her narrative to avoid writing the usual sequel. She adds time travelling and creates two parallel narrative levels between which the protagonist, Sophie Elliot, unexpectedly and inexplicably moves. She gets involved in a series of different adventures and is torn between two men. Is it possible to fall in love with two differently handsome, kind, extraordinary gentlemen , one living in Jane Austen’s time and one in the modern world? Make your acquaintance with Charles and Josh in Jane Odiwe’s new book and you will find yourself sympathizing with the heroine.
The story takes place mostly in Bath but an exciting trip to Dorset will take the protagonists and the readers to Lyme Regis, too. Jane Odiwe seems at home in both places and leads us all around the beloved landmarks and sites as an expert Austen tour guide would do. The historical details are accurately researched with special attention to clothing, accessories and furniture.
Using my favourite metaphor of writing/cooking, I couldn’t recognize any new original ingredient but I greatly appreciated the very creative recipe in which Jane Odiwe blends adventure and romance, modern and regency characters, facts and fiction. Gifted writing makes the blend a successful, entertaining whole. You’ll find yourself smiling in recognition at this lovely tale with lots of familiar quotes and characters, events from Jane Austen’s life and hints to her letters. Searching for Captain Wentworth is a new delightful, unmissable read for anybody loving Austen-inspired fiction.
Searching for Captain Wentworth will be released on September 7 as a paperback but it is already out at kindle store. It is available to order at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and Barnes and Noble. Jane Odiwe will be my guest soon here at My Jane Austen Book Club to talk about her upcoming book. There will be a giveaway contest for a signed paperback copy. Stay tuned!