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Find Wonder in All Things

By: Karen M Cox
Narrated by: Elizabeth Grace
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“There could have never been two hearts so open…. Now they were as strangers.” (Persuasion)

Mountain Laurel Elliot is like her name—she blooms best in the cool comfort of shade, hidden in the Kentucky foothills of Appalachia. Alone on her mountain, she lives a private existence with only her pottery—and her regrets—for company. 

James Marshall had a secret dream and Laurel was part of it, but dreams sometimes lead to unexpected places. James’s heart broke when Laurel cut him loose, but he moved on—and became successful beyond his wildest dreams. 

For one glorious summer, James and Laurel had each other, but life has kept them far apart.

Until now.

“A magnificent modernization of Jane Austen’s Persuasion.” (Austenesque Reviews)

Winner of the Independent Book Publisher’s Award 2012: Gold Medal in Romance and Next Generation Indie Finalist in Romance 2013 

©2020 Karen M Cox (P)2022 Karen M Cox
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Romance

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  • Christina Boyd
  • 16-12-22

Brava! Loved this contemporary-romance inspired by PERSUASION

Voice actress Elizabeth Grace delivers another incredible narration! Her tone and pacing are perfect. Her regional accents are well-done, adding just the right flavor, without sounding like a caricature. I’ve loved this story since first published and even more as an audiobook. Brava!

Jane Austen's most serious and compelling work, “Persuasion” is all about retribution, forgiveness and second chances. Her masterpiece begins eight years after the broken engagement between the young heiress, Anne Elliot, and a junior naval officer, Frederick Wentworth--when he is thrown back into her sphere and both must face the pain from their past. Karen M Cox's award winning novel, “Find Wonder In All Things” is a modern-day homage to this Austen classic. The tale begins with a lakeside friendship in the Appalachian foothills of Kentucky between Laurel Elliott and James Marshall. As the two grow, childhood friendship turns to summer romance and halfway through Laurel's first semester at the local college, James decides to move to Nashville to pursue his music dream. He assumes she will drop everything to join him. But at just eighteen and with a generous art scholarship, weighted by family expectations as well, who would fault her for refusing him and staying on the college track?

Eight years later, James, now rich and famous, returns to the lake to visit his sister, while Laurel has turned into a reclusive, starving artist. Ok, not quite starving but by no means a financial success story. And most definitely alone. “Unbidden, he came to mind: handsome, dashing and determined. The eight years of separation had softened any flaws she ever saw in him, and now he was almost larger than life to her. He had been right to believe in himself and in his ability to make his mark on the world. He had made it, too—perhaps not in the way he intended but still successful beyond his wildest dreams.”
James is determined to play it cool and aloof towards Laurel. And Laurel's regrets are freshly re-visited as she is keenly aware of her depraved status and jealously towards the younger woman James now bestows his attentions. But Laurel's generous, self-assured spirit unearths old feelings he thought long buried and a companionable friendship blossoms. When a water skiing accident throws the two together, emotions come to the surface. “And he had whispered her name and called her beautiful and sweet. She could hear the words, and then `want...want...' It had made her roar to life inside her lower belly. Yes, she thought, I want too.' But then he left.” Maybe too much time and hurt had passed between them...

If you are looking for the cookie cutter formula of a “Persuasion” adaptation, this may not be it. For example, you might be surprised that Austen's pretentious, preening Sir Walter Elliot has been transformed into a struggling but kind hearted marina owner. And Anne Elliot's selfish, self-absorbed elder sister Elizabeth has morphed into an affectionate, married, and doting mother named Virginia. Although many of Austen's key characters have also been re-named and undergone a modern makeover, they remain comfortably familiar to the Austen fan. I admit, some of my appreciation was in recognizing the subtle parallels. However, one need not have read “Persuasion” beforehand to enjoy this novel. “Find Wonder In All Things” stands on its own and no wonder at all, why it was awarded the GOLD MEDAL in the Romance category at the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Congratulations, Karen M Cox on another lovely read! From my review at austenprose.

*The 2020 re-release has been polished and tightened, though the story remains the same. I also liked the addition of Discussion Questions. This is a story not to miss.

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  • Marie
  • 10-12-22

Wonderful Modern Persuasion Variation

The audiobook version of this wonderful story gave me all the same feels as the book did. I stayed up until almost 4:00 a.m. because I simply could not stop listening. Elizabeth Grace is amazing as she covers so many American voices. Her performance is excellent. Your JAFF audiobook library isn’t complete if this book isn’t in it. Highly recommend.