By the Book is supposed to be a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and I’ll be honest… I haven’t read Persuasion. So I went into this book just wanting to read a good story, and I wasn’t too disappointed. I loved the premise of the story and I did enjoy the character of Anne, as well as her friendship with Larry.
However, I didn’t find the romance aspect of the book to be very interesting. While Anne does explore a relationship with the new writer-in-residence, Rich Chasen, he is away most of the time and it isn’t anything quite serious for Anne. Not to mention that the book focuses more on Anne’s best friend’s affair than her own love life. I expected a little more tension when Anne’s ex-fiance, Adam, entered as the college’s new President, but there was very little of him throughout the story, and even when he does interact with Anne, it’s not as tense as it should be. So the lack of tension/interaction between the two made the ending seem very out of place for me.
I understand that it’s a modern retelling of a classic, but it would have been much better if there had been more pining between Anne and Adam or little tense moments, despite her dating someone else at the time.
Overall, this was a good, well written novel, but if you’re looking for more romance, you’ll be left unsatisfied.