Having never read the original Austen novel, Persuasion, this book is based on, I was a bit tentative when Malcolm reached out to me and asked for a review. However, she knew that I’ve been on a kick for exactly this sort of romance novel the past few months, and I’ve previously been a fan of her media tie-in novels to the Stargate franchise. But there’s no hoity-toity Britishness here, nor aliens and spaceships. Instead, Perfect Day was a novel I was glad to fall head-first into.
Despite being a retelling of Persuasion, this novel feels incredibly contemporary. There is never once the sense that it’s an old plot shoved into modern-day constraints. My surface-layer knowledge of Austen’s text allowed me to identify how this book acts as a retelling, but I experienced the events with the characters. There was no distraction of wondering how Perfect Day might be influenced by Austen’s plot. In fact, I consider myself more likely to pick up Persuasion now, and as someone who felt that Pride and Prejudice could have done with some sword fights, that’s no small feat.
All romance novels come with a bit of angst, but this book contained the perfect amount (pun not intended). There was just enough for me to feel for the characters and look forward to their happily ever after, but not enough for me to want to smack one or both of them upside the head until they got over themselves.
The only way this book could have been better was if I’d been reading it along a beach of my own somewhere. That’s certainly my idea of a perfect day.