Debra White Smith continues her series of contemporary retellings of Jane Austen novels with a fresh look at Persuasion. Possibilities tells the story of wealthy Allie who regrets her decision of a decade past to reject the proposal of the family’s yardman Frederick Wently on the basis of social prejudice.
Frederick reenters Allie’s life after sacrificial service in the war in Afghanistan as a pilot. Allie’s family fortunes have waned due to the indulgent lifestyle sought by her father and sisters and Frederick harbours bitterness stemming from Allie’s rejection of him in the past. Both Frederick and Allie must search their hearts to determine if forgiveness and acceptance will take precendence over heartache and disdain.
While traditional fans of Jane Austen’s work may balk at reading such a book, Ms Smith will no doubt convert many with her emphasis on looking at the heart and rising above inane social restrictions that continue to influence us today.