Are you a fan of Jane Austen? I LOVE her novels. They are timeless classic books that transcend time and culture. People who read her novels can relate to the storylines, the characters, and the emotions that Jane Austen evokes in us. And, to me, that’s what a great book ought to do. Today I am sharing an excerpt from Second Chances, my retelling of Jane’s book Persuasion. Enjoy!
At twenty-five years of age, Anna Eicher has never married. When she was seventeen, her parents convinced her to break off her courtship with Freman Whittmore, the youngest son in the Whittmore family and her best friend. Afterward, a distraught Freman moved away from Lancaster County.
Eight years later Freman has returned to visit his sister, who is renting the Eichers’ house for the winter. Now the owner of the largest dairy farm in his church district, Freman has neither married—nor forgiven Anna.
Although he begins courting someone else, Anna hopes to convince him that she has never stopped loving him. Will Freman be persuaded to forgive Anna and open his heart again?
He stood by the side of the buggy, the door already open as he waited for her. Without a word, he reached for her hand and helped her step into the buggy. When he followed, it jiggled under his weight, and she steadied herself as she sat on the small seat. “It’s getting cold,” he said and reached behind the seat for a blanket. With great tenderness, he covered her lap and smiled at her. “Better?” She nodded. “Now, tell me,” he said as he depressed the foot brake and gave the reins a slight slap upon the horse’s backside. The buggy lurched forward and headed down the road. “What has you looking so perplexed, my sweet Anna?” Words escaped her, and she remained mute at his side. Slowly, his expression changed. She wondered if he suspected what she was going to say. If he did, surely he knew how heavy her heart felt. “Anna?”
Taking a deep breath, she shut her eyes, saying a quick prayer to God for the strength to speak what weighed so heavily on her mind. There was no easy way to tell him, so she chose to be candid instead of softening her words. “Freman, I cannot marry you in November.”
She waited for his response. For a moment, he remained silent. She felt tears welling up in her eyes and blinked rapidly to stop them from falling. She couldn’t imagine his devastation at the news. After so many long buggy rides home from the youth singings on Sunday evenings, their compatibility more than apparent to both of them, it had been only natural that they would marry. She wanted to marry him. But when she informed Lydia and asked how best to tell her daed, she quickly learned that her admiration for Freman was not shared by others. How could she defy the advice of her mother’s best friend or the wishes of her own father?
He focused on the reins of the horse and seemed to contemplate her proclamation. “I see,” he finally said. “I know you think you must wait until you turn eighteen, Anna. So, if we must wait until spring . . . ” He let the sentence linger between them. “Freman, spring isn’t the answer.” “I know it’s unusual, but more young couples are doing that these days,” he responded. When he glanced at her, she looked away. “It’s not that I cannot marry you in the spring,” she whispered. “It’s that I cannot marry you ever.”
Have I persuaded you to give Second Chances a try? You can download a copy for your Kindle (click HERE to buy) at the fantastic price of only $3.82!
Sarah Price is the author of the Plain Fame series and the Amish of Ephrata series, among other books. She comes from a long line of devout Mennonites, and her writing reflects accurate and authentic stories based upon her own experiences with several Amish communities. Visit her at sarahpriceauthor.com and on Facebook.