Last night I finished Seeking Persephone, by Sarah M. Eden, a story I have been visiting between other books for about 3 months. With only a quarter of the book remaining, I decided to see how these characters ended up.
Like Edenbrooke, by Julianne Donaldson, Seeking Persephone is part of the genre of LDS romantic regency fiction. These books are written by women for women. Their authors are loyal Jane Austen devotees who want to carry on the tradition of clean literature set in a simpler time of good manners, lovely dresses, and when marriage to a wealthy man is a woman’s top priority.
After reading two books in this genre by two different authors, I am finding this kind of escapist reading teetering on the ridiculous. Escapist lit is fine, the regency setting is fine, but unoriginality is not. So far, both Edenbrooke and Seeking Persephone have obvious shades of famous stories that are classics because they were the first of their kind. While Edenbrooke’s characters had a lot of similarities to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth and Darcy, Seeking Persephone is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
In it, the poor but beautiful Persephone is sacrificed into marriage to the brooding and scarred Duke of Kielder. It is unapologetic in its predictability, and shameless in its attempt to try and be something more than fluff. Harsh but true. For the same reasons I have vowed not to read another ridiculous book by the highly overrated Nicholas Sparks, I do not see myself returning to this genre again. Intelligent readers deserve something better than this.
A disappointing 5/10 Stars