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The Art of Persuasion

Written by Susan Midalia


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Twenty-five-year-old Hazel is reading the classics, starting with 'A'. It's one way to pass the time when you've quit your job and lost your way. But then she has a chance encounter with an irresistible older man. When Hazel is partnered with him on a political campaign, her attraction is deepened by the strength of his convictions. Adam seems to be attracted to her too – but why is he resisting? And what does Jane Austen have to teach a young woman about life, love and literature in the twenty-first century?

'An intimate story of modern day life, superior craftsmanship and humourous triple liners warranting a grin...a highly entertaining tale ...' Westerly Magazine

'Completely compelling. Here is a rarity; a witty and tender comedy of manners that also has political bite.' Michelle de Kretser

'Warm, witty and wonderful – a perfect modern romance.' Ryan O'Neill

'This novel was a joy from the first to the last page.' Maureen Eppen, Shelf Aware

'In this smart, funny novel, Susan Midalia engages the reader with warmth and wit while never losing sight of the uncomfortable truths that haunt us as Western Australians.' WritingWA

'This delightful first novel from the former WA academic is sprinkled with the kind of wit and character observations that endeared Austen to generations of readers. Like a cup of chamomile laced with a splash of gin, it will comfort the soul and lift the spirits for the day ahead.' The Weekend West

'Midalia, the author of three short-story collections, expands the canvas in this debut novel.' Weekend Australian

'There is much to discover and love in The Art of Persuasion, whether it be the clever and satisfying plot, the sassy, witty and strong heroine...or even just the love of language, words and literature that come through on the page.' (five stars) Emily Paull, Book Spotlight

'Like Austen, [Midalia] uses language in a nuanced and precise way, but she has a finely tuned ear for contemporary dialogue and a delightful sense of the absurd. The Art of Persuasion is a romantic comedy of the highest order...' Subiaco Post

'an engagingly erudite work...' Adelaide Advertiser

'It’s a warm, funny, and optimistic comedy of manners with a well-structured Austenesque plot in which the path of romance is delayed by misunderstandings.' The Saturday Age

'Midalia manages to deftly imbricate the political narrative of the Australian Greens party with the slow formation of Hazel’s romance with Adam ... This is a book about various kinds of longing: the desire for intimacy, for human understanding, for self-possession and self-forgetting.' Australian Book Review

'Susan Midalia cleverly brings modern day politic tactics and the plot devices of 18th century comedy to explore our moral right to persuade others of our opinion.' Readings

ISBN 9781925591033 (Paperback)
Formats B+ Format (205 x 138mm) (Paperback)
Categories ebooks
Book Club Reads
Mother's Day 2021
Publisher Fremantle Press
Edition 1st
Publication Year 2018
Pages 248
  • Susan 2018 web specs

    Susan Midalia

    Susan Midalia is the author of three short story collections, all shortlisted for major Australian literary awards: A History of the Beanbag, An Unknown Sky and Feet to the Stars. Her debut novel The Art of Persuasion was published in 2018. She also works as a freelance editor, mentor and workshop facilitator, and has had articles published on contemporary Australian women’s fiction in national and international journals. Read more