Captain Wentworth's Diary by Amanda Grange highlights the beauty of lost love through the eyes of Frederick Wentworth. The book imitates Jane Austen's novel Persuasion, a story about Anne Elliot, daughter of a baronet in nineteenth century England, and Frederick Wentworth, a navy officer in England's war against Napoleon's France. Captain Wentworth's Diary gives readers of Persuasion a glimpse at the story through Frederick's eyes, and what happens when he leaves Somerset. The story spans eight years, the summer of 1806, when the young lovers meet, and then returns to the summer of 1814, after the war. In the beginning, Wentworth travels to his brother Edward's home for his brief shore leave. He is carefree and young, desiring to meet the pretty young ladies of town and dance frivolously with them at parties. Then his eye lands on the timid but intellectual beauty, Anne Elliot. Frederick admires her mind, her beauty, and her ability to endure such a horrendous family. The couple falls in love over the summer, however the people in Anne's life persuade her that the love cannot last. In frustration and anger, Wentworth flees, back to the sea. When the story returns, Wentworth has risen in the ranks, the war is over, and he returns to Somerset as a captain. He visits all the old haunts, reliving hard memories. Can old love be reborn? Captain Wentworth's Diary is the tortuous tale of past love and future questions
Persuasion is one of my favorite novels, and the primary reason is because Anne Elliot is a wonderful heroine, her inner beauty is as powerful as her looks and her charm. Captain Wentworth's Diary was a much harder read because Frederick Wentworth is not a natural hero. He struggles with his decisions, with his pride, and with the characters surrounding Anne. He becomes jealous of men she talks with, angry with her family, and hateful towards Lady Russell for ruining their engagement. The story is of lost and found love, but does Anne deserve a lost soul like Frederick? His voice and actions cost the story. He was a hard character to like, even if he did love the perfect woman. The novel itself is well written, but Persuasion is a hard act to follow.
Reviewer City, State and Country: Concord, MA United States