Persuasion, Captain Wentworth and Cracklin' Cornbread (Jane Austen Takes the South #3)
By Mary Jane Hathaway
Howard Books, 2014. 296 pages. Fiction.
In a modern, Southern take on Jane Austen's Persuasion, Lucy Crawford's family has so much debt that the only way to salvage their antebellum home is to rent out half of it to the Free Clinic of Tupelo. The only drawback: Lucy will have to see her old high school sweetheart, Dr. Jem Chevy, on a regular basis. She broke his heart (and her own) ten years earlier when her aunt told her that she wouldn't be doing right by her family by dating a poor white boy from the wrong side of the tracks. But now that he's a successful doctor, will he be able to forgive her and allow them both a second chance at love?
I've really enjoyed Hathaway's series for her unique takes on modern Austen novels. This one was particularly interesting to me because the main character was a well-off African American woman and the idea of the two of them being separated by race concerns made for a real and contemporary concern. The author her case beautifully for why the two were initially separated and how they overcome their hurt and pride to value in each other the very traits that hurt them the most when they were younger. This was a great retelling of a story that has an amazing amount of depth and introspection to it.