Book Review: ‘By The Book’ Is Highly Recommended

“Go buy this book, enjoy it, and put it on your keeper shelf, it is a hugely enjoyable read on a rainy or snowy night, or listening to the ocean, you are going to read it more than once.”


 

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.’

I must confess, when I started reading this tale, I was not sure about the level of interest and enjoyment I would take from it. I love books and with this story, I felt that it loved me back. This is a great read, I could see Fairfax College, I knew where everything was, I walked to the library and I smelled the beeswax and old paper. Anne Corey is a non-tenured professor of English, she needs one published book to receive a permanent job offer as a full-tenured Professor of English. She specializes in English lady writers. She is aided and abetted in her efforts to excel as a teacher by her best friend, a Professor of English also, Larry, a great character, a carbon copy of Oscar Wilde, outrageously funny at times and acts as a great balance in the unfolding of this yarn.

Anne lives in a permanent state of chaos, she is a brilliant teacher and doesn’t know it. Larry is always there to help and guide her and in return, she supports his constant search for love and when he finds Jack, sparks fly! We discover that the college has a new president, Dr. Adam Martinez, and as it turns out, Anne’s ex from grad school whom she broke up with on the eve of graduation. They haven’t seen each other in over ten years so is the fire still smoldering or has it gone out? A new writer in residence has been taken on board and he has an eye on our Anne and there is a smidgen of interest going back in his direction because she is not immune to his come-hither looks. Oh, the plot thickens!

I must declare that I felt like I knew everyone, including the students. When one lad asks if he can use a pencil, she looks at him, stating “pencil, pen, your own blood, I don’t care just make it legible.” Of course, I knew what was going to transpire, in spite of the myriad of characters around her, all of them brought to life for me. From start to finish, I just have to say I’m a sucker for fairytales, wicked witches, bad sisters, nutty professors, and handsome princes and last but not least, writers who put their heart into their stories. This is recommended reading for all overworked teachers, professors, librarians, and book-deprived grandmothers! And love story addicts! Go buy this book, enjoy it, and put it on your keeper shelf, it is a hugely enjoyable read on a rainy or snowy night, or listening to the ocean, you are going to read it more than once.

Available in bookstores February 6th, 2018

Ann is originally from Dublin, Ireland and currently lives in Dallas, Texas. She was the secretary to the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland for many years and is an avid book reader and reviewer.
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