You know Darcy: rich, proud, standoffish, disapproving, one of the greatest romantic heroes of all time. But you don’t know this Darcy because THIS Darcy is a woman.
In PREJUDICE & PRIDE, Lynn Messina’s modern retelling with a gender-bendy twist, everything is vaguely familiar and yet wholly new. Bingley is here, in the form of Charlotte “Bingley” Bingston, an heiress staying at the Netherfield hotel on Central Park, as is Longbourn, transformed from an ancestral home into a perennially cash-strapped art museum on the edge of the city. Naturally, it employs an audacious fundraiser with an amused glint in his eye called Bennet.
All the favorite characters are present and cleverly updated: Providing the cringe-worthy bon mots is Mr. Meryton, the nerve-wracked executive director of the Longbourn who’s always on the lookout for heiresses to join his museum’s very important committees. (Universally acknowledged truth: Any woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a social committee to chair.) Collin Parsons is still in obsequious, if ironic, awe of his patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The wicked Georgia Wickham toils as a graphic designer at Redcoat Design by day and schemes against Darcy by night.
With her trademark wit and style, Lynn Messina takes the genres she does best—chick lit, mashups, and Regency romance—and weaves them into one delightfully entertaining tale that doubles as a fun guessing game.
Worldbuilding: This novel took place in present day Queens and Manhattan!! I wasn’t completely sure when this story was going to take place but as the story went on, references to modern day advances made it pretty clear that it was in the 21st Century!!
Characters: The main characters in this novel were Bennet Bethle and Darcy Fitzwilliam. As a museum fundraiser, Bennet deals with entitled airhead heiresses on a daily basis and just can’t seem to drum up the same enthusiasm, he used to have for them, anymore. But he could have never known that with the arrival of a certain Charlotte “Bingley” Bingston would bring him an injection of fervor into his everyday life! Darcy Fitzwilliam has had everything given to her since birth. Entitled can’t even begin to describe the way Darcy acts when she first meets Bennet! But over the course of dinner parties and impromptu visits both Darcy and Bennet begin to change. Can they overcome the differences of their classes, no good “breeding”, and an opinionated nosy old aunt? Or will they succumb to their different stations in life and forget that each other exist?
Plot: This was exactly like the Pride and Prejudice movie Keira Knightley starred in but at the same time completely different! For the people that know the original story and movie the characters and situations draw awesome parallels to this novel. And for people that don’t, this is the classic novel reinvented! The gender switching and the new relationships that are presented in this story give it such a unique flair that I don’t come across very often.
Writing: This story was told in third person point of view. It had about the same expansive vocabulary as the original story did. The dialogue was reminiscent of the way they talked in the Keira Knightley movie but with some present day slang thrown in.
Curb Appeal: The cover is playful and whimsical which also comes in spades within the story! Just as the author took the characters and spun them, she also did so to the cover and I like that modern day things were thrown in.
Ultimately: This was such a fun read! It’s like I was able to revisit my old favorite novel that instead of referencing things from many years past, I was swept into a story from my time. The characters were over the top but definitely lovable!! If you are in the mood for a fresh new take on a classical novel then come check out Prejudice and Pride!!!!
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