Second Chances - guest post by Sarah Price
Oh Anne! How could you possibly have let so many people persuade you to deny Frederick’s proposal and commit yourself to a future devoid of your true love?
Isn’t that the question we ask ourselves while reading Jane Austen’s Persuasion?
First loves do not often evolve into life time partnerships. If they did, I’d be married to Jimmy Cline, the little blond hair boy that I “dated” in fourth grade. He kissed me by the mailbox after carrying my books from the bus stop. That’s what happens when you date “older” men (he was in sixth grade).
But hearts are meant to be broken.
When he broke up with me for Beth Whatever-Her-Last-Name-Was, I thought the world would end. It didn’t.
I cannot imagine my life today if I had pined for him over the years, denying myself other experiences in life and love. Would I have traveled? Would I have my two children? Would I be a successful author?
Each broken heart adds character to our own stories, helping us learn to love in a way that is stronger and better each time around.
For Anne, however, her story has a different ending.
She did pine for Frederick and denied herself future courtships. When Frederick returned, her heart broke all over again only to be rewarded in the end for her steadfast devotion to the memory of their relationship from her youth.
What a fabulous love story!
And to think that it was written in the early 1800s? Even more fascinating. It did not take much persuasion on my publisher’s part to convince me to retell this story in my preferred genre, Amish romance.
Most lovers of Jane Austen’s literature might raise an eyebrow and think, “An Austen Amish romance?” However, Austen’s novels adapt quite well to the Amish setting. After all, like Austen’s high society, the Amish have a very structured hierarchy with rules, both spoken and unspoken, and expectations within their culture. A woman needs to pay attention to her reputation in order to “marry well” within the church community. And, while women are not prone to pursue men, they do have choices in which suitor they select for courtship and, eventually, marriage.
Told well, the stories transfer remarkably well to Austen’s setting. It’s a wonderful challenge for me as a writer. Not only do I need to remain true to (and respectful of!) the Amish culture and religion, I must also pay homage to the literary excellence of Jane Austen. What author would resist the opportunity to tackle such a project?
I was, after all, easily persuaded.
About the book
At twenty-five years of age, Anna Eicher has never married. When she was seventeen, her parents convinced her to break off her courtship with Freman Whittmore, the youngest son in the Whittmore family and her best friend. Afterward, a distraught Freman moved away from Lancaster County.
Eight years later Freman has returned to visit his sister, who is renting the Eichers’ house for the winter. Now the owner of the largest dairy farm in his church district, Freman has neither married—nor forgiven Anna.
Although he begins courting someone else, Anna hopes to convince him that she has never stopped loving him. Will Freman be persuaded to forgive Anna and open his heart again?
About the Author
The author of more than two dozen novels, Sarah Price brings twenty-five years of experience of living among the Amish to her books, many of which have been Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers. In 2013, she signed with Realms, a division of Charisma House, to publish the Amish Classics series. Initially focusing on the retelling of Jane Austen’s timeless classics from within an Amish setting, her first traditionally published book, First Impressions, A Retelling of Pride & Prejudice, debuted on the ECPA bestseller list.
She intends to continue retelling classics, including the Bronte sisters and Victor Hugo, as she enjoys “raising the bar” on her own intellectual stimulation as well as that of her expansive base of loyal readers.
In 2014, she signed with Waterfall Press and published An Amish Buggy Ride which became a #1 bestseller in Religious Romance.