By the Book: A Book Club Recommendation! (Paperback)
An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.
Anne Corey is about to get schooled.
An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.
Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.
Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.
About the Author
Julia Sonneborn is an English professor and a Los Angeles native. After heading east for college and graduate school, she hightailed it back to California, where she now lives with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog. When she’s not reading, writing, or talking about books, she enjoys trying new restaurants, reading online gossip blogs, and throwing dinner parties. She is the author of By the Book.
"This utterly charming novel is, above all else, immense fun. The shade of Jane Austen and Julia Sonneborn have collaborated to produce a deftly-crafted tale full of romance, ambition, and wit. The result is a complete delight.”
— New York Times bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith
"Julia Sonneborn’s witty and wise retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is a refreshing tale that had me in its spell from the first page to the last. Spunky, relatable, and adorably flawed, heroine Anne Corey is balancing professorhood, sisterhood, and an aging father—and two irresistible men who love her and hate each other. A good dose of humor and a dash of drama make this a compulsively readable, utterly charming debut."
— Kristy Woodson Harvey, national bestselling author of Slightly South of Simple
"Sonneborn handily translates Austen's tale [Persuasion] into a modern context, creating a light, bright revision with quirkily compelling characters… This decidedly filmable update of the classic romance will charm lovers of Jane Austen and chick lit alike.”
— Kirkus Reviews
"Sonneborn’s first novel updates Jane Austen’s Persuasion with lots of appealing, cozy details, old college architecture, a romantic rival (who’s really more of a Wickham, but whatever), a gay best friend, and lots and lots of libraries... readers of light women’s fiction with likable heroines will connect with the book-smart but not so love-smart Anne. Give this to fans of Shannon Hale’s Austenland (2007) and unapologetic lovers of the Hallmark Channel."
"Entertaining, romantic, and smart, this debut is a clever reinvention of Jane Austen’s Persuasion and a delightful way to spend an afternoon.”
— Library Journal
"Sonneborn delivers a novel filled with a touching understanding of love and loss that probes some of our most vulnerable moments while also delivering a conclusion of the highest, squee-inducing order."
— Entertainment Weekly.com
Generation after generation, both hope and sorrow hit the two families in this story hard. Gyasi uses the episodic nature to her advantage, in a way that inspires a fevered anticipation similar to the tv show Roots. A moving work that would be a great choice for book clubs and writing classes. - Jessica