Shadows in a Brilliant Life is a short story in which Captain Frederick Wentworth is not an honorable man, but a man looking to gratify his own selfish desires. when Anne Elliot sees that Louisa Musgrove is the object of Wentworth's lust, she must try to stop him. with Louisa out of danger, is Anne his new target?
At the beginning of her novel, Susan Kaye explains the prompt for this book: She partook in a writing challenge where authors were to take a hero and turn him into a villain. Interesting.
One must truly know Captain Wentworth well—his past, his pain, his fears—and examine other ways in which he may have reacted to Anne’s abandonment. How would Captain Wentworth deal? Would one be bitter and hard-hearted toward love in any form?
When pretty, vivacious Louisa Musgrove offers a pleasant diversion in a secluded cottage, our ignoble, heartbroken hero takes Louisa up on her entertaining offer. However, there is only one thing stopping Captain Wentworth: Anne Elliot.
Totally taken aback by Wentworth’s rakish behavior, Anne confronts the man who still holds her heart, though she no longer recognizes that man. Wentworth agrees to leave Louisa at home on one condition: Anne goes to the cottage in her place. What will Anne do? Can she convince this once-gentleman-now-turned-libertine to change his dastardly ways?
Some may not like seeing Captain Wentworth in such a negative light. And I agree; I probably would not either had the author not forewarned the reader about the prompt for the piece. Yet, at the same time, an argument is taking place in my head. After having one’s romantic hopes totally dashed and disregarded, is it probable that Wentworth could act the rake? I say, yes. It is possible that Captain Wentworth would handle his heartbreak the way so many others do: at the bottom of a bottle and with a string of meaningless swives. Why not? His pain is deep, and hope is lost…almost.
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