October 19, 2012

SEARCHING FOR CAPTAIN WENTWORTH by Jane Odiwe

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe
Paperback and Kindle, 320 pages
Published September 7, 2012 by Paintbox Publishing
ISBN 10:  095457222X
ISBN 13:  978-0954572228
 
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 her favourite author, Jane Austen, lived in. But, the neglected house 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
 
My Thoughts on Searching for Captain Wentworth

Jane Odiwe has been a favorite Jane Austen-inspired author of mine for some time and she earns a special distinction due to her Lydia Bennet’s Story being the first Austen sequel/prequel that I read and starting me down the road of various Austen variations.  I loved Lydia Bennet’s Story, as well as her other sequels/reimaginings Mr. Darcy’s Secret and Willoughy’s Return in which she vividly brought beloved Jane’s original characters back to life.  Searching for Captain Wentworth is different from Ms. Odiwe’s previous work because while it does center on one of beloved Jane’s work (this time, Persuasion), it’s a modern take with time travel back to the Regency period of Jane Austen.  And oh yes, beloved Jane herself plays a very central role.

I loved how Ms. Odiwe took Jane Austen’s actual history of the time she spent in Bath and wove a wonderfully romantic tale of how Persuasion was conceived and birthed.  Jane is presented here as a feisty and charming woman, a loyal sister.  And yes, a writer at heart. In addition to Jane, Cassandra Austen and Charles Austen were both represented and it was a delight to have them included as both were vital in Jane’s life. 

I loved our heroine, Sophie, an aspiring writer who desperately wants to follow in Jane Austen’s footsteps.  She was utterly loveable and it was easy to root for her. 

The set up for the story is seamless and I was entranced by both Sophie’s present day conflicts and historical issues.  I adored both the modern day story as well as the story unfolding in Regency Bath.  When I was reading about Regency Bath, I didn’t want it to end and by the same token, present day Bath held me captivated.  I am a big fan of time travel pieces and never before have I experienced equal passion for both eras being represented.  It created a torn feeling in me as I fell in love with both Charles and Josh, Charles’ present day counterpart.  Both men have standout qualities, both are incredible fantasy literature men so who should Sophie choose?  

Ms. Odiwe’s knowledge of artwork and art history shines through solidly in the passages with Josh at work in the museum and as someone with very limited knowledge on art and art history, I was fascinated with it.  I also appreciated Ms. Odiwe’s insider knowledge of Bath.  Austen fans will recognize and rejoice over the Pump Rooms, Lyme Regis and assembly rooms.  The city comes alive in glorious detail and for an Austen addict and Anglophile like myself, only furthers to whet my appetite to walk in Jane Austen’s footsteps myself. 

I must give Searching for Captain Wentworth my highest recommendation. Reading it was equivalent to enjoying one of Jane Austen’s own works - - romantic, clever, entertaining and ultimately satisfying.  Ms. Odiwe’s affection for Jane Austen allows the reader to escape into a land in which disbelief is suspended and all things are possible and isn’t that what a good book is supposed to do? 

Searching for Captain Wentworth may well be my favorite of Ms. Odiwe's novels.  Every character is so real, so vivid, every scene so perfectly handled I desperately wanted to live within the pages of this achingly romantic book for more than the few short days I did.

Searching for Captain Wentworth is available for purchase now at major booksellers, including Amazon.  I am an Amazon  affiliate.  If you make a purchase through my link, I will receive a small commission.  
Review copy of this book provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest reviews.  In no way did the provision of this book affect the outcome of my review.
For more information on author Jane Odiwe, please visit her website or blog 

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