Book Review: Prejudice and Pride

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“Prejudice and Pride by Lynn Messina

“Tequila isn’t the solution. Almost two hours into an enthusiastic drinking session with his brother and Bingley, Bennet discovers that not even tequila shots are strong enough to make him stop thinking about Lady Catherine’s extraordinary visit.”

That sentence is very Drunk Austen Approved. It comes form “Prejudice and Pride” and, while it seems like you can’t walk outside without tripping over another Austen-adaptation, this book is unique. In this modern-retelling the classic characters are gender-bent. Lizzy is Bennet. Darcy is still Darcy, but a lady.

Not every character is swapped over, but I love that Bingley and Darcy are women. During Jane’s life women didn’t have a lot of agency, but in this version modern ladies can have money, and therefore power. I think that’s an important feature too often missing from adaptations. You can throw in a few technology references, but to truly make a fresh take on this classic you need to give the heroines power in the modern world. This book does that successfully.

The Story

Bennet and John, the oldest Bethle brothers, are desperately working to keep The Longbourn, an aging art collection, alive. They run into Darcy Fitzwilliam and Charlotte Bingston, two wealthy women who can assist Longbourn’s failing finances, if only there wasn’t drama.

The story, familiar to all Austen-lovers, continues in the high-class world around New York’s art scene.

Who should read this?

People who are tired of adaptations that are barely creative. This story is set in modern times, but in a very specific circle of society. It also put a great spin on the original by swapping the genders of the main characters. That twist makes this book more exciting than any of the books I’ve seen come out of The Austen Project (which has been a major disappointment thus far).

Cocktail to drink with this:

The Kirtini: a martini made with creme de cassis.

Prejudice and Pride” comes out December 15, 2015.

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