The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel
Published by: Thomas Dunne Books
Pub Date: July 18, 2017
Format: e-arc | Source: NetGalley
Genres: adult, contemporary, romance
A smart, funny, and modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, where a young woman comes face-to-face with a lost love, proving that the one that got away is sometimes the one you get back.
Ruby and Ethan were perfect for each other. Until the day they suddenly weren’t.
Ten years later, Ruby’s single, having spent the last decade focusing on her demanding career and hectic life in Manhattan. There’s barely time for a trip to England for her little sister’s wedding. And there’s certainly not time to think about seeing Ethan there for the first time in years.
But as the family frantically prepare for the big day, Ruby can’t help but wonder if she made the right choice all those years ago? Because there’s nothing like a wedding for stirring up the past . . .
I really liked this at the start; it has the voice I like in adult contemporary romance and I love Persuasion, which you can clearly see the influence of. Unfortunately it loses some of its charm by the end; I didn’t think the emotional payoff was good enough and I really really disliked the “secret” she was keeping from her ex. I also wasn’t a huge fan of all the flashbacks; I would have rather had more time in the present to get to know Ruby and Ethan together and watch their relationship change. And I was also disappointed at the lack of a Wentworth letter! We kept seeing Ethan’s emails to his father so I assumed that would factor in and it really didn’t.
Overall, it’s a good book but not a great one, and there are the usual troubling throwaway lines: one reference to spirit animals, basically hating on sight any beautiful women Ethan breathes next to, etc. Ruby was likeable except for that. I understand jealousy, of course, but it was a little tiresome and silly when it was every single mention of other women. I was also a little disturbed by her boss in the flashback scenes. He gave me the creeps, in that slimy older powerful man at work sort of way. Still, if you’re looking for a light read this is good enough- I read it in a few hours! And I liked all of the British settings. Ruby’s stepmother was great and I liked the groom’s parents- overenthusiastic tourists in every sense haha.
Are you a fan of Austen retellings? What are some of your favorites?
6 thoughts on “Review: The One That Got Away”
OMG how can you leave out the Wentworth letter???? That is hands down like 95% of people’s favorite scene in Persuasion. YOU CANNOT JUST. (Well, I mean, you can but it’s totally inadvisable.)
I can see why they went the jealousy angle, because Anne is jealous in Persuasion, but she’s reasonably jealous and from what I recall she does try not to be. Like, she knows she let him go and has no claim, but it really irks to see him flirting so heavily with her love rival. Which, yeah, that would hurt. And he was totally rubbing it in her face, so yeah. Who wouldn’t be jealous? But not EVERY GIRL.
I KNOW. AND IT’S ONE OF THE BEST SCENES. Sigh sigh sigh.
I guess that’s true and like I said, I tooootally get it because I was that girl too. But yeah it got old fast. Esp since she’s 32 (which omg is only a year older than me. How did this happen, I am the age of ADULT FICTION HEROINES?!).
Is this part of the Jane Austen Project?
Did some light googling, it doesn’t appear to be. But I’m not 100% sure.
No Wentworth letter??? What even is the point of a Persuasion retelling without that! I was so looking forward to this one, so I’m a little bummed to hear that it’s a book that loses its charm along the way. And I can totally understand how annoying the flashbacks could be. I need there to be a balance between the present day and flashback scenes. I think I’m going to skip this one for now.
MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY. If you’ve read it by now, I’d be interested to hear what you think. But yeah, I don’t think there’s any harm in skipping this one. So many books, so little time.