What do Jane Austen, time-traveling, “Captain Wentworth”, and a pair of white gloves all have in common? They’re all major parts of Jane Odiwe’s newest novel Searching for Captain Wentworth, a time-travelling tale that puts us smack dab in the middle of Jane Austen’s life!
Sophie Elliot is in a bit of a slump, to put it mildly. Her boyfriend has cheated on her, with her best friend, no less. Totally distraught, she can’t focus on the book she is attempting to write, and is quite depressed indeed. So, in order to help her recuperate and focus on her writing, her great-aunt gives her the keys to the family townhouse in Bath. She is shocked to learn that the home is located right next to the former home of none other than Jane Austen herself. She is not alone, however, as she meets a somewhat mysterious man in the townhouse named Josh Strafford. After Strafford drops an old glove, Sophie grabs it in order to return it to him. Instead of simply picking up the glove, something extremely unexpected happens. She finds herself transplanted into the body of her namesake, in Jane Austen’s time! She is able to live out her wildest dream as she befriends Austen and experiences life in Regency-era bath. She soon becomes caught in the dizzying travel between these two eras separated by 200 years. She learns more about Austen than she ever thought possible. What will become of Sophie now that this magical transformation has occurred? What will happen with Josh once she tells him about the magical properties his glove seems to possess?
Right off the bat I was impressed with this book. I loved how Odiwe was able to make Austen herself personify traits that fit all of her heroines. She had the wit of Elizabeth, the matchmaking skills of Emma, the lost love like Anne, etc. I personally like to believe that Jane truly did have traits from all of her heroines. Knowing her characters so well and then believing they’re little parts of Jane herself makes me feel closer to her work for some reason. (Any one else feel this way??) Also, can I talk about Charles Austen and Josh for a second? What wonderfully male creations Odiwe has invented. They were both written with such superbly gentleman-like characteristics that I couldn’t help but swoon over them. Overall, Odiwe fleshed out each character quite well, with my opinions on them matching what I thought Odiwe would want to happen, making the story progress that much faster and drawing me in more.
Finally, I have to give Odiwe a lot of credit for her inspiring words throughout the work. I was touched by several quotes, my personal favorite being: Time is but a shadow; Too slow, too swift, but for those who love, time does not exist. How amazing is that? It’s all too true in our society today. It makes the maxim “take time to stop and smell the roses” all that more important, as we are constantly bombarded by stimuli and fail to take in the importance of the people and places around us. Between the exquisitely written story and intriguing characters, I was hooked from cover to cover. Even if time travelling books aren’t normally your style, I’d suggest that you still give this a try. After all, haven’t we all wanted to be Jane’s best friend?
5 out of 5 Stars
This is my first completed review for the Historical Fiction Challenge
Searching for Captain Wentworth by Jane Odiwe
Paintbox Publishing (2012)
Paperback: 320 pages
Special thanks to Ms. Odiwe for my review copy!