Oh.My.Goodness!! I love this book! It had me hooked from the first page and I could hardly put it down. It was filled with mystery and wit--the perfect blend of Jane Austen's style with Charlotte Bronte's--and the storyline kept me guessing. I can't wait to read the next book in the series: Mark of Distinction. Highly recommend! However, there are a few parts of the book that do get a bit steamy for a Christian book. If you're sensitive to things like that, you may want to at least prepare yourself to skim over those few scenes.
â€œOnly weeks away from servanthood, I stood amidst unimaginable wealth, envisioning a new life for myself. I hungered to belong in this sphere â€“ not just for the sake of belonging, but for the sake of my future security. Too long had I stood on the threshold of uncertainty, never quite sure how matters would work out,â€ Julia ponders in Jessica Dottaâ€™s novel, Born of Persuasion.
In this four hundred and twenty-seven page paperback book, the early nineteenth century obligation that women were physical and financial objects, chosen by parents or others for marriage purposes is the backdrop in this historical, romantic fiction. With no profanity, light physical romantic interludes and some violence, the book is targeted toward mature Christian women who like a lengthy, developed plot line. This reader wishes all pronouns related to God were capitalized for reverence.
Miss Julia Elliston, a timid, shy seventeen year old has nowhere to go. With her abusive, atheistic father dead and her mother recently passed away, she learns she is now the custody of an anonymous guardian who has plans to send her to Scotland in two months to be a bedridden womanâ€™s companion.
As per the guardianâ€™s directive, Miss Elliston has the opportunity to be married instead of being forced into service, yet the young man she promised her heart to is no longer a viable candidate. Under the guise of a supposedly generous but dominating and harsh ladyship, she agrees to her terms allowing a husband to be sought out for her.
The self-aware, deceptive woman in charge of her introduces her to a man of wealth and means who has dark secrets and a dark past that connects with Juliaâ€™s mother and father. At the same time, the unknown guardian demands to prepare Julia for her new position while the vicar tries to lovingly protect her physically and spiritually.
Written in first person, a reader gets caught up in the mannerisms, apparel, lifestyles, decorum and societal rules of the mid eighteen hundreds as Julia is tormented, used and shunned due to marital laws, legalities and lack of womenâ€™s rights.
Meticulous in verbiage, descriptions of properties and regulations, Dotta forces the reader to slow down and relish the writing as twists, turns and trysts are made between lovers, players and pawns in a deadly game of love and revenge.
This book was furnished by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. in lieu of an unbiased review.
Difficult to follow and understand. Dotta's style of writing, I figured, is an acquired taste. With the Victorian era so exquisitely dramatic and overall beautiful, I struggled to gain an interest and understanding of the characters, plot and situation surrounding the characters. It seems as though even with Dotta's beautiful writing of the era, that it's a little bland for my taste, uninteresting, the language overly done and doesn't draw me into the story line. Maybe the Victorian era is not my thing!
Strangely enough, I first heard of debut author Jessica Dotta through an ad on my Facebook feed. The ad claimed Dottaâ€™s style to be similar to that of both Jane Austen and Jane Eyre, and being the Jane fan I am, I was cautiously optimistic about her upcoming release, Born of Persuasion. Cautiously optimistic because there are a lot of authors who claim to have styles similar to both the respective Janes in an effort to sell books.
But I decided to try her out, and I am so glad I did! Dotta was the first author in a long time whose style really did hearken back to Jane Eyre. (As far as I can tell without having actually read the book. I know! Completely unforgivable. But I have seen the movie and have the book at the top of my must-read list!) I read a lot in the Christian market, and the more you read, the more you begin to see a lot of the same thing over and over. Publishers find a formula that works and/or sells books (historical setting, girl meets guy, girl canâ€™t have guy, theyâ€™re finally together, the end), and they tend to stick with it. I completely understand why, but it can get a bit boring and a little predictable after a while. So when I find a book that shakes things up a little, I get really excited!
Dottaâ€™s novel does just that. Full of mystery, drama, and intrigue, it became the book I didnâ€™t know I was looking for. Both Dottaâ€™s style and plotline were completely unpredictable. For starters, forget just one suitor. The heroine in this book has to deal with two. And for once, I had no idea who she should pick! I felt just as confused as she was about which of them measured up to the title of hero. Add to that a twist I never saw coming and a rich historical setting, and Charlotte Bronte, weâ€™re in business!
If I had to pick one thing I wasnâ€™t fond of, it would be that she does have a couple of scenes that do edge closer to the â€œhot and heavyâ€ line than was probably necessary.
But overall, Dotta made quick work of making me an avid fan, and I cannot wait to see more from her!
(I received this book from the publisher on Goodreads in exchange for my honest opinion.)
I was anxious to read this book, as I thought front the description that I would like it. I was not disappointed. In fact, I found myself loving it more than I thought I would and couldn't put it down. The story of Julia Elliston is intriguing. The descriptions are well written and I felt i was actually there amongst the characters. Jessica Dotta takes care in making sure everything goes along well with the period. It feels genuine. There are many foreshadowing sentences throughout the book that I find wonderful as it keeps me wondering what will happen. An amazing story that is a fantastic read.
Kim H. in GA
The read was worth the wait. I'd seen the book title and description several places online and was finally able to read a Kindle version. I could not put this book down over the weekend. There are many twists and turns. Warning--story is continued in Mark of Distinction, which I am also eager to read.
I am very surprised to find Born of Persuasion as a Tyndale book. As I read it, I kept excepting to find the redeeming quality of the book that marks it as a *Christian* historical romance. Unfortunately, I just find it to be a historical romance. It is very sensual and focuses on the physical side of the romantic relationship. One character is a devoted Christian and strives to live out the gospel, but there are few glimpses of God in this book. Yet, the â€œdevoted Christianâ€ character is over-zealous for half of the book and then he decides the protagonist is worth choosing over God, his faith, and his job. Overall, this was a disappointing book. If you like confusion, two-faced characters, cliff-hangers and an undercurrent of the sensual, this is your book.
Pamela Jo Meitzler
A Riveting Page Turner!
"Born of Persuasion" has to be one of my favorite novels! In this book the reader will find romance, suspense, spine tingling fear, and a deep theme of good vs evil. I read it in one day because I simply could not put it down! This book is also a bit different than a typical Christian Historical. Set in 19th Century England, it is more of a Gothic novel. It reminds me of the works of the Bronte sisters. There is murder, blackmail, abuse, and even atheistic situations throughout the book. Yet it is a book which causes the reader to really think about faith...losing it and gaining it. It will appeal to all readers.
While the plot is complicated and quite intricate, the reader will be pulled into the story immediately. I was! I must also add that this is the first book in a trilogy, and is not a stand-alone novel, but after you read this one, you will want to read the next two in order to discover what happens. There are loose ends at the end of the story, but it only adds to the anticipation of the next release.
The main character is Julia Elliston, a young woman who finds herself in a troubling personal situation after the death of her mother. Much about her past has been hidden from her. She has a Guardian, but it does not appear that he is a beneficial element in her life. She does not even know who he is, except that he is controlling and demands that Julia obey him. She is desperate to escape and hopes to marry a childhood friend, Edward Auburn. When she visits an old friend of her late mother's, Julia makes the tragic discovery that Edward is no longer a viable option for her. The two still love one another, but their circumstances in life have caused their ties to be severed. Julia feels betrayed by Edward and believes her dream of a future with him is shattered. The suspense and intrigue begins when a titled dowager takes Julie under her wing and prepares her to meet gentlemen who might marry her. Julia is desperate to be wed in order to escape her Guardian.
The man who truly wishes to win Julia's heart is Mr. Chase Macy, a recluse twice Julia's age who has a dark past and hides even darker secrets. However, Mr. Macy does woo Julia and he becomes her protector. I have to admit that I felt the same doubts about Mr. Macy as Julia does while I read the book. Something about him just isn't quite trustworthy, yet he is a character who really does seem to have a sincere affection for Julia. I also found myself favoring Mr. Macy over Edward at times. An author who causes the reader to feel the same emotions as the main character in the book is truly a writer with talent...and Jessica Dotta is a tremendously talented writer!
The plot thickens when Mr. Macy reveals that he knows Julia's Guardian and tells her he is a man to be feared. As this unknown man appears on the scene, along with Edward, Julia is forced to make dangerous decisions. I won't reveal more about the plot, as it will give away too much of the tale. I will say that, even after finishing the book, I do not know what will happen to Julia, Edward, or Mr. Macy. Many unexpected events await in the pages of Born of Persuasion. The reader is left wanting more...and there will be more in the second book of the trilogy. I'm currently waiting to read and review book two..."Mark of Distinction" and I can hardly stand waiting to receive it! Julia's story is one which will remain with me for a long time. It is a thriller!
With an intricate mixture of Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, Born of Persuasion by Jessica Dotta puts together a compelling story of intrigue and romance. The plot line was very interesting but complex, so it made it a little hard for me to follow at first. However, once I understood more of the back story, I quickly was drawn into the story. There were several unexpected twists and turns, suspenseful moments, danger, forbidden romance, and mystery. The narration was from Julia's perspective as if she was retelling the story from later on in her life, which made it interesting because the reader learned about her thoughts, and also added an element of foreboding because there was a sense of dark shadow hanging over her narrative. I also really enjoyed the storyline, particularly the second half of the story, as Julia struggled to understand what was going on and who to trust. The characters were complex and intriguing as well. I did not particularly like or understand Julia. Her personal feelings and thoughts did not seem to meld with the timid and shy way Julia acted around people. I think this was because Julia was telling the story from the future, so her way of telling it reflected how her personality and character had grown over the years. However, even though Julia did not change much in this story, she did begin to grasp the seriousness of her actions near the end, and I think that she will begin to grow as a character during the next two novels. Mr. Macy was definitely an interesting character; very smooth and charming. I was immediately drawn to him like Julia was, but I still liked Edmund better. Edmund was also a complex character who struggled to balance his beliefs with his desires, and he ended up having a much harder road to travel because he could not come to a decision. Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel. The dark mood, the brooding characters, the danger, and the old mansions all fit the style of Bronte, and the dialogue, love triangles, the silly characters like Ms. W matched the Austenian style as well. I really liked how these styles merged together in this novel, and I look forward to reading the next novel, A Mark of Distinction.
I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.