None But You
About the Book
Eight years ago, when he had nothing but his future to offer, Frederick Wentworth fell in love with Anne Elliot, the gentle daughter of a haughty, supercilious baronet. Sir Walter Elliot refused to countenance a marriage, and Anne’s godmother, Lady Russell, strongly advised Anne against him. Persuaded by those nearest to her, Anne had given him up and he had taken his broken heart to sea. When Jane Austen’s Persuasion opens in the year 1814, Frederick Wentworth, now a famous and wealthy captain in His Majesty’s Navy, finds himself back in England and, as fate would have it, residing as a guest in Anne’s former home. Now, it is the baronet who is in financial difficulties, and Anne exists only at her family’s beck and call. For eight long years, Frederick had steeled his heart against her. Should he allow Anne into his heart again, or should he look for love with younger, prettier woman in the neighbourhood who regard him as a hero?
The Frederick Wentworth, Captain series is a novel in two parts, and None But You follows Captain Wentworth from before Persuasion begins to Louisa's fall at Lyme. Kaye's Wentworth has a strong voice and she skillfully embellishes the original story, earning her four stars.
We start off with Wentworth's return to England, when the navy is downsizing after the war. I enjoyed seeing his life with the navy, from the banter of his officer friends to his mournful visit to Bennick, but I can see how someone more interested in the events of Persuasion would find them tedious and over-long.
I appreciated Kaye's interpretation of Wentworth's feelings. I have seen several versions where he is no longer in love with Anne, and eventually comes to love her again. But in this version, he's only too aware that he's still in love with her, but he's so resentful of her for the past that he refuses to act on it. Based on the famous letter he writes Anne, I find this interpretation truer to the original.
Once Wentworth reaches Kellynch Hall, Kaye adds few new characters to the cast. She focuses instead on deepening the relationships between Wentworth and his siblings, which I found to be a refreshing tactic. It was also nice to read some "deleted scenes" - moments with Anne, both present-day and flashback, that weren't in the original.
If you're a fan of Persuasion, you'll definitely enjoy this series.