I’m not someone who reads a lot of classics or even likes them much, but Jane Austen has been one author whose books really impressed me, and I have enjoyed reading them multiple times as well as buying the collectible editions. So, I thought this would be a fun post to do where I can talk about some of the interesting Jane Austen retellings I’ve read and other books which Austen fans might enjoy exploring. So, let’s get started…
Pride and Prejudice Retellings
Unmarriageable is definitely my favorite P&P retelling till date, which is set in 90s Pakistan but the setting and the culture feels perfect for this story. Highly recommend.
Ayesha at Last in set in modern day Canada and features second generation immigrant protagonists, and I think the conflicts that they face due to their religion/ culture/ expectations made for a very interesting retelling of the classic.
Set in contemporary USA, Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors is a gender bent retelling which is what makes it very fascinating. While I won’t totally rave, I thought it presented an interested look at privilege and prejudice, just like the original.
It’s been a while since I’ve read Eligible, so I can’t tell you much details about it but I remember enjoying it a lot at the time.
Emma is not an easy book to like or enjoy, but I thought the author did a great job in retelling the story in I Could Write a Book. It definitely gives a much deeper insight into the main protagonist’s character, which I thought made her more relatable.
Emma and the City is a more modern retelling of the classic and it follows the original very closely. So, while it was fun and entertaining, I found the protagonist as unlikable as Emma and thought the redemption came a bit too late. But you’ll probably enjoy it more if you are a fan of the original.
Polite Society is set in modern day India, among the uber rich class of Delhi and I thought the setting was perfect for this story. I found it pretty entertaining too, except when it seemed to meander a bit towards the second half and then ended abruptly. I would definitely recommend the audiobook if you wanna give this one a try.
I don’t remember enough about the classic to compare it to Undue Influence, but this gay retelling was very lovely to read in and of itself. And despite hating most of the side characters, I thought the main characters were good people and their romance was very sweet, angsty and adorable. You’ll definitely like this if you enjoy second chance romances.
Recipe for Persuasion is actually an upcoming desi retelling of Persuasion set in the same world as the above mentioned Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors. So, I can’t tell you yet how this is gonna be but I know I will be picking it up with a lot of enthusiasm.
What was happening to the other characters of Pride and Prejudice when the various events were taking place in Elizabeth’s life? If you want answers to this question, you should check out these books.
The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy is essentially a retelling of the same story through the eyes of Anne de Bourgh, and how she might have played an important role in getting Elizabeth and Darcy together. While some key scenes from the original are repetitive, it was still fun to see what was happening in other characters’ lives.
The Clergyman’s Wife is the story of Charlotte after her marriage to Mr. Collins and this was such a beautiful, poetic, poignant and emotional read. I completely fell in love with this book and sobbed a lot through the latter half.
Austen fan as Main character
How was Jane Austen inspired to write Pride and Prejudice? What if you find some kind of proof that Austen might not have written the original P&P and instead plagiarized it? If this plot intrigues you, you should definitely checkout First Impressions. With one timeline following a fictional life of Austen, and the other following our main character trying to disprove the plagiarism allegations in the modern day – this book is an ode to books and authors and all book lovers. Highly recommend.
Have you already read any of these books? What did you think of them? Do you have other similar recommendations for me? Please feel free to share them all in the comments section below…