“It’s more than it appears. Don’t step on it, and definitely don’t eat it. It’s called skunk cabbage for a reason.”
“What’s so special about it?” she said, mostly to herself.
“It’s exciting! It’s the harbinger of spring. Don’t hold its foul odor and toxins against it. It’s only doing what it needs to do to survive.”
“Aren’t we all,” Amelia concluded, suddenly feeling a certain affinity for the smelly plant her mother had loved so much.
Amelia Elkins Elkins by A. M. Blair
Published June 19, 2015
Format: e-book; 318 pages
Goodreads | Amazon | Author’s Website
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
In 1817, if childbirth didn’t kill a woman, then there were good odds that a “miasma” would. Now, thanks to modern medicine, a woman’s demise at the prime of her life is uncommon enough to deserve an investigation. That is what two lawyers at the Harville Firm promise to do when Amelia Elkins Elkins, a member of a prominent family with more baggage than money, contacts them in the wake of her mother’s untimely death.
In this retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Amelia and her sisters turn to the American court system to seek justice for their mother’s death. It’s too bad that their conceited, silly father is doing everything he can — inadvertently, of course — to hinder their success.
One of my online friends who blogs over at The Misfortune of Knowing recently published this novel, which is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, one of her favorite novels (and mine as well!), and I saved it for Austen in August this month! Amelia Elkins Elkins follows Amelia, an emergency room doctor who comes from a historically prominent family, as she seeks the aide of a former boyfriend in her late mother’s wrongful death lawsuit.
Blair does a fantastic job at preserving the spirit of Austen’s Persuasion in her modern adaptation. Amelia is a sympathetic character who, like Anne Elliot, is tragically undervalued by her family. While Amelia is left to salvage her family’s estate and seek justice for her mother’s death, her family is more concerned with their own self-centered affairs. At times I felt that Amelia’s elder sister and father were even worse than their Persuasion counterparts! But rest assured, everyone gets what they deserve in the end :)
One of my favorite parts about this novel is how the romance, although thrilling and sweet, was not the main focus of the story. I loved diving into the legal world, which I know little about, and I appreciate how Blair clearly described all of the technical terms and documents. Being an attorney herself, I imagine that she’s had plenty of practice explaining legal practices to clients! If you’ve ever had any interest in the legal field, you’ll definitely enjoy following this fictional lawsuit as it envelops readers in mystery and intrigue.
Read This Book If:
…you’re a fan of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.
…you enjoy reading novels with lawsuits and legal plots (especially when all of the jargon is easy to understand).
…you love stories that involve second chances.
…you long for a story with a bit of mystery and romance!
If you are looking for a contemporary novel that is so much more than just an adaptation of a classic, Amelia Elkins Elkins should be on your To-Read list! A. M. Blair’s book evokes feelings of sympathy, anger, intrigue, and of course happiness as a former couple reunites in a quest for justice.
15 thoughts on “Amelia Elkins Elkins by A. M. Blair”
The only thing I love more than a retelling is a Jane Austen retelling! Thanks for the review and bringing this to my attention. – ashley
I love Jane Austen adaptations, too! I hope you enjoy this one :)
Thank you so much for this wonderful review! I loved writing Amelia Elkins Elkins, as nerve-wracking as it was to update a beloved classic. I didn’t want to mess it up! I’m especially thrilled that you enjoyed the legal aspects of the novel. I had the help of a beta-reader who isn’t a lawyer, but part of me still worried that there was too much “legalese” in the novel.
Nope, not too much legalese! I felt like there was just enough for it to feel authentic :)
And thank you for taking on the challenge of rewriting such a beloved book! I can only imagine how nerve-wracking that must have been, especially considering how much you love Persuasion yourself!
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the book with us! Glad you enjoyed the book; I will definitely keep my eyes out for it as I <3 Persuasion so very much :)
Thank you! I hope you get a chance to read & enjoy it :)
This sounds very good. I have always loved Persuasion because my name is Anne and she gets a second chance at love. So sweet. i will look for this book.
Here is my Austen in August review: http://headfullofbooks.blogspot.com/2015/08/austen-in-august-challenge-complete.html
I love Persuasion, too! If I could be like any Austen heroine I would probably pick Anne Elliot; I respect her character so much. Alas, I am most like Catherine Morland of Northanger Abbey, which is rather fun actually, so I’m not complaining :)
Great review. This is definitely going on my TBR list.
Thanks! Hope you enjoy :)
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