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Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe

Source: Author Jane Odiwe
Paperback, 318 pages
On Amazon and on Kobo

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe is a time-traveling romantic novel in which Sophie Elliot uncovers her ancestors connections to her beloved Jane Austen when she visits Bath after a tough break-up with her boyfriend.  Sophie is a young woman adrift after the end of her relationship and when she learns that she didn’t get the job she had hoped.  Traveling to Bath, she has romantic ideas about what this famous city would be, but it is more bustling than she expects, until she reaches her family’s home and finds that she has stepped back in time.

“My family had enjoyed a life of leisure, privilege and wealth, but in my Great-Granmother’s time the First World War changed everything.  The family fortunes dwindled along with the estates, which had had to be sold.  Now, all that remained was a black and white print of Monkford Hall, the manor house that the first Elizabethan queen had given in recognition of services to the crown, which my mother had framed and put in pride of place above what she had jokingly called her other “seat,” in the loo.”  (page 32)

Sophie wanders around Bath and finds a white glove, which she believes must belong to her neighbor, Josh Strafford, who is putting together an exhibit at the local museum.  His eyes are captivating, and his kind manner is endearing, but Sophie is not ready for romance, or so she thinks.  As she uncovers the secrets of her family in the attic and upper rooms of the house in Bath, and a rosewood box she’s given, Sophie falls deeper into the past, becoming a part of it — taking a vacation from reality.  In her vacation from reality, Sophie steps into the life of her namesake, Sophia Elliot, and learns that women are more constrained by society’s expectations than their clothes.

“I looked through the glass, but I couldn’t see Josh.  The dark, heavy doors needed all my weight to move them, but once I’d got them started they swiftly seemed beyond my control to stop.  Very quickly, the doors picked up a frightening speed and started to spin so rapidly it was impossible to make any attempt to get out.  Faster and faster they turned, moving with a force all of their own.  No matter how much I shifted my weight to lean against the one behind, nothing would slow the increasing acceleration of the revolving doors.  i clung to the brass rail with fear, shutting my eyes tight because I felt so giddy and nauseous.  It was only when the sensation completely stopped that I dared to open them.”  (page 82)

Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe is about the love we seek when it sometimes is right in front of us.  Sophie must learn how to stand on her own, to know what she wants, and to reach out and grab it while she can.  Only when she has the resolve to be happy, can she truly take advantage of the opportunities and happiness before her.  Odiwe writes this time-travel novel in a way that makes it believable and readers will be as swept up in the past as Sophie Elliot.

About the Author:

Jane Odiwe is an artist and author. She is an avid fan of all things Austen and is the author and illustrator of Effusions of Fancy, consisting of annotated sketches from the life of Jane Austen. She lives with her husband and three children in North London.  Check out Jane Odiwe’s blog here.

Other reviews of this author’s work:

Mailbox Monday #192

Mailbox Mondays (click the icon to check out the new blog) has gone on tour since Marcia at A Girl and Her Books, formerly The Printed Page passed the torch. This month’s host is BookNAround.

The meme allows bloggers to share what books they receive in the mail or through other means over the past week.

Just be warned that these posts can increase your TBR piles and wish lists.

Here’s what I received:

1.  The Second Empress by Michelle Moran, which is for review from the author.

After the bloody French Revolution, Emperor Napoleon’s power is absolute. When Marie-Louise, the eighteen year old daughter of the King of Austria, is told that the Emperor has demanded her hand in marriage, her father presents her with a terrible choice: marry the cruel, capricious Napoleon, leaving the man she loves and her home forever, or say no, and plunge her country into war.
Marie-Louise knows what she must do, and she travels to France, determined to be a good wife despite Napoleon’s reputation. But lavish parties greet her in Paris, and at the extravagant French court, she finds many rivals for her husband’s affection, including Napoleon’s first wife, Joséphine, and his sister Pauline, the only woman as ambitious as the emperor himself. Beloved by some and infamous to many, Pauline is fiercely loyal to her brother. She is also convinced that Napoleon is destined to become the modern Pharaoh of Egypt. Indeed, her greatest hope is to rule alongside him as his queen—a brother-sister marriage just as the ancient Egyptian royals practiced. Determined to see this dream come to pass, Pauline embarks on a campaign to undermine the new empress and convince Napoleon to divorce Marie-Louise.
As Pauline’s insightful Haitian servant, Paul, watches these two women clash, he is torn between his love for Pauline and his sympathy for Marie-Louise. But there are greater concerns than Pauline’s jealousy plaguing the court of France. While Napoleon becomes increasingly desperate for an heir, the empire’s peace looks increasingly unstable. When war once again sweeps the continent and bloodshed threatens Marie-Louise’s family in Austria, the second Empress is forced to make choices that will determine her place in history—and change the course of her life.

2. Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe from the author for review.

When aspiring writer, Sophie Elliot, receives the keys to the family townhouse in Bath, it’s an invitation she can’t turn down, especially when she learns that she will be living next door to the house Jane Austen lived in. On discovering that an ancient glove belonging to her mysterious neighbour, Josh Strafford, will transport her back in time to Regency Bath, she questions her sanity, but Sophie is soon caught up in two dimensions, each reality as certain as the other. Torn between her life in the modern world, and that of her ancestor who befriends Jane Austen and her fascinating brother Charles, Sophie’s story travels two hundred years across time, and back again, to unite this modern heroine with her own Captain Wentworth. Blending fact and fiction together, the tale of Jane Austen’s own quest for happiness weaves alongside, creating a believable world of new possibilities for the inspiration behind the beloved novel, Persuasion.

What did you receive?