The One That Got Away by Melissa Pimentel
Published August 22, 2017, by St. Martin’s Press.
Adult > Chick Lit, Contemporary, Retelling, Romance
A 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…
Special thanks to the publisher for providing me with a finished copy of the book for review!
Before I get into the story, I want to first acknowledge what an adorably cute cover this is! It definitely helped grab my attention.
Now, on to the story! This was such a cute read! I loved how it’s told in the “Now” and the “Then,” with ten years separating the two. Because of this, we got to see Ruby and Ethan’s romance begin, end, and then have the two of them get thrust back together again in the present.
Ruby and Ethan were such a great couple! The beginning of their romance was so sweet, and I loved their banter. It also helped that I really enjoyed both of their characters separately, too. Ruby is driven and smart, while Ethan is so kind and caring for those that he loves. That being said, I much preferred younger Ethan to present-day Ethan. While there were hints of his old self, he didn’t seem like the same person, which made their reconnecting seem a bit forced.
The book also has another prominent couple, Ruby’s younger sister Piper, and her soon-to-be husband (and Ethan’s best friend), Charlie. Their wedding is the reason that Ruby and Ethan see each other after so long, but I really adored their relationship just as much, if not more than Ruby and Ethan’s! We also see them get together in the past which was SO adorable. Flashing forward to the present and they are still just as great together. I would have loved for them to have a larger part in the story, particularly more on the origin of their romance!
While the book is a romance, I appreciated that there were other themes included in the story. Ruby struggles with her job and success. She also has Jess as a best friend, who is married and embracing suburban motherhood. Their friendship was amazing. Jess was always there for Ruby when she needed her, even while being pregnant with a second little one. There’s also a complex family dynamic. Ruby’s mother has passed away, her father is remarried and they’re struggling with losing their wealth. Seeing her deal with many real-life problems at once made her a relatable and real character.
We go through the book without knowing what caused Ethan and Ruby’s breakup, but finally, learn what happened towards the end. I was eager to know what caused such a seemingly strong love to break apart. When we do find out, we can finally understand why Ruby was struggling to get over Ethan and still had such strong feelings for him.
I almost forgot that this was a Jane Austen retelling of Persuasion! I *gasp* haven’t read it, so I can’t comment on the similarities to the original story, yet I did get a modern Austen writing style feeling from the story. It was witty, smart, and fun!
Overall, this was a really lovely story. While it’s technically an Adult book, I can definitely see it appealing to YA and NA readers alike! It’s a light read that’s heartwarming and hopeful, and will leave you smiling!