Unmarriageable
In this retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, the five Binat sisters and their marriage-obsessed mother navigate a world where money trumps morality and double standards rule the day.A scandal and vicious rumor in the Binat family has destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to school girls. Knowing that many of her students won't make it to graduation without dropping out to marry and start having children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire them to dream of more.When an invitation arrives for the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for eligible--and rich--bachelors, certain that their luck is about to change. On the first night of the festivities, Alys's lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of one of the most eligible bachelors. But his friend, Valentine Darsee, is clearly unimpressed by the family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her, quickly dismissing him and his snobbish ways.But as the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal--and Alys begins to realize that Darsee's brusque manner may be hiding a very different man.

Unmarriageable Details

TitleUnmarriageable
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 15th, 2019
PublisherBallantine Books
Rating
GenreRomance, Fiction, Retellings

Unmarriageable Review

  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    Out-freaking-standing!!! READ THIS BOOK!!I'd love to share my review here, but it is an assigned book and the review will be copyrighted. However, I can not recommend this book highly enough. If you love Pride & Prejudice you will love this rendition set in modern day Pakistan. This is one of those books I just want to hold close to my heart and never let go. An absolute delight, but also insightful and educational. 5 BIG STARS!!
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  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    January 1, 1970
    A Pakistani retelling of Pride and Prejudice? Sign me up! 3.75 stars. It's not perfect, and often it follows the original P&P plot a little too closely, especially with the characters' names and some famous lines and scenes from P&P that were a little too spot-on. Alysba (Alys) Binat as Elizabeth Bennet and Valentine Darsee are okay, but I draw the line at Jeorgeulla Wickaam and the "Looclus" (Lucas) clan. Humeria (Hammy) and Sumeria (Sammy) Bingla for the Bingley sisters was pretty funn A Pakistani retelling of Pride and Prejudice? Sign me up! 3.75 stars. It's not perfect, and often it follows the original P&P plot a little too closely, especially with the characters' names and some famous lines and scenes from P&P that were a little too spot-on. Alysba (Alys) Binat as Elizabeth Bennet and Valentine Darsee are okay, but I draw the line at Jeorgeulla Wickaam and the "Looclus" (Lucas) clan. Humeria (Hammy) and Sumeria (Sammy) Bingla for the Bingley sisters was pretty funny, though. Mr. Collins is Farhat Kaleen, an older widower with three children; Charlotte Lucas is Sherry Looclus. The character makeovers of those last two were awesome, by the way.I liked it best where it veered from P&P in some interesting ways; Sherry's point of view and subplot, for example, was really fascinating to me (view spoiler)[and ultimately happier than Charlotte's; I love that Sherry is happy with her tradeoffs and more affluent lifestyle, and is even enthusiastic about sex with Kaleen, and mothering his children (hide spoiler)]. The Elizabeth Bennet character, Alys, is strident in her feminism, enough so that the ultimate romantic wrap-up seems a little out of character. The traditional P&P plot is modernized in several ways, including her character (age 30, and fighting against some of the traditions of her country relating to marriage and the role of women), as well as a gay character and sympathetic discussion of abortion(view spoiler)[ (the Wickham character got the Georgiana character pregnant a year or so before the events in this novel) (hide spoiler)].I really enjoyed the immersion into modern-day Pakistani culture. The moral quandaries transfer pretty well into current Pakistani culture, including the obsession with marrying well and the near-disaster that Lydia ("Lady") causes her family. The food sounded like it was to die for. And fairly frequently the novel was quite insightful into human relationships, in ways that aren't entirely owed to Jane Austen. I wanted to tell him about my kind and generous Jena, my fearless Alys, my artist Qitty, who holds her head up no matter what anyone says to her, and my Mari, who just wants everyone to go to heaven. Even my silly, selfish Lady, who doesn't know what is good for her and just wants to have a good time all the time. But I didn't tell him about any one of my daughters. He doesn't deserve to know a single thing about my precious girls.Awww!The writing is sometimes a bit clunky, especially when the author is making a social point. But it was still an interesting story, as long as you don't mind that it toes the P&P line pretty closely. I received a free copy of this ebook from the publisher through NetGalley for review. Thank you!Content notes: a few F-bombs (4, to be exact). Some innuendos, but no other sexual content.
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  • Yusra ✨
    January 1, 1970
    you all know where I’m going to be january 15th, just chilling on my couch with some tim hortons sponsored french vanilla & jamming to atif aslam while reading this book!!
  • Susan Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    What a delightful version of Pride and Prejudice told in modern day Pakistan. The delightful Binat family had a change in fortunes and have had to relocate with their five daughters to Dilipibad, Pakistan. Because of their reduced circumstances the two oldest daughters, Jena and Alys, become teachers at the British School of Dilipibad. Alys, the second oldest, teaches English literature and asks her class to rewrite the opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowle What a delightful version of Pride and Prejudice told in modern day Pakistan. The delightful Binat family had a change in fortunes and have had to relocate with their five daughters to Dilipibad, Pakistan. Because of their reduced circumstances the two oldest daughters, Jena and Alys, become teachers at the British School of Dilipibad. Alys, the second oldest, teaches English literature and asks her class to rewrite the opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a girl can go from pauper to princess or princess to pauper in the mere seconds it takes her to accept a proposal." The answers are truly amazing.It was hard to for me to envision Jane Austen in the Muslim world but it works and works well. The descriptions of food are mouthwatering. I have never eaten Pakistani food but I want to try it. The author brought a deft touch to that. It was also fun to read the restrictions the women were under and how they worked around them. In fact, the entire glimpse into a modern Pakistani culture with their customs was eye opening. I loved the wedding traditions where the weddings go on for days.Alys meets Valentine Darsee and is not impressed with him despite his wealth and status. Their cat and mouse games certainly is in the spirit of Austen. In fact the entire book was faithful to Austen and yet the unique Muslim twist made it fresh and interesting. It's a wonderful homage and I appreciated the insights into the Pakistani culture.I recommend this highly.
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  • Sahitya
    January 1, 1970
    I have always enjoyed reading Jane Austen retellings and reimaginings because it's fascinating to see how her thoughts and ideas translate into our modern world or how modern authors can interpret them. I have liked a few and been disappointed by others, so I knew not to have a lot of expectations from this one. But Pride and Prejudice set in 21st century Pakistan held too much appeal and I couldn't stop myself from requesting the ARC. And I am so glad to report that this book exceeded all my ex I have always enjoyed reading Jane Austen retellings and reimaginings because it's fascinating to see how her thoughts and ideas translate into our modern world or how modern authors can interpret them. I have liked a few and been disappointed by others, so I knew not to have a lot of expectations from this one. But Pride and Prejudice set in 21st century Pakistan held too much appeal and I couldn't stop myself from requesting the ARC. And I am so glad to report that this book exceeded all my expectations in a delightful way.There is not much I can say about the individual characters because the author stays pretty close to the original - in terms of both the plot and the characterization. However, making both Jena and Alys unmarried women in their 30s who take up the teaching profession to help their family make ends meet, and then thrive in their independence was a deft touch. The Binat family has also extensively traveled abroad and their kids educated in international schools before the downturn in their fortunes, hence it's quite easy to believe Alys as a modern well read woman who loves her country and culture, while also being very critical of a hypocritical society that puts undue pressure on young women to be virtuous and marry and serve their husbands but the men are never expected to respect or value their partners.The whole book is full of social commentary about the class and societal prejudice that felt all too real. I've seen enough of the snobbery and gossip mongering and the too much importance given to people with money, both in the Indian media and in my real life; and even the belief that a woman's life is only fulfilled by getting married and bearing children and not by being a person of intellect and with a voice of her own - all of this hit too close to home and that's what makes this book so special. There were some great conversations in the book which resonated with me - about finding home and identity when you've grown up with foot in your culture and traditions and the other foot trying to adapt to more western sensibilities; about how we as a country can better celebrate our history while also putting the lasting effects of colonization into context; about trying to voice an opposing opinion regarding the place of women in a society that tries to cast them into a mould. The other strength of this book and one that I truly enjoyed was the very "desi" feel of it. I'm not a Muslim nor Pakistani, so I won't comment on how true that rep is but it did feel quite similar to some of the Pakistani TV dramas I've watched. But the culture, food and language are still very much similar to my own and it was such a delight to read about all of that in such glorious detail. All the wedding ceremonies and clothes that were described made me want to run to India and buy some nice extravagant clothes 🤩🤩 The narration about all the food in detail throughout the book is mouth watering and reading about everyone enjoying these delicacies made me want to join in all the fun. And I really adored the generous use of Urdu all through the book - it's nice to see some familiar words in conversations and especially the use of famous proverbs. The book also lots of nods to Austen's works, right from the first line to the last and some other prominent authors, so be ready for some nice recommendations.Despite how much I enjoyed reading this one, it's not perfect. I really loved the few subplots that the author incorporated, but for the most part it's too close to the original. The romance between Alys and Darsee also felt very rushed and I would have liked to see them interact more and fall in love slowly. However, the society and world of P&P does translate well into the modern Pakistani setting and the characters felt very believable. The story is also very funny and entertaining and I couldn't put it down.If you love Jane Austen and like reimagining her stories, then do give this one a try. And if you are from the subcontinent, then I definitely recommend this book. You will really really enjoy this desi Pride and Prejudice.
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  • Abby Johnson
    January 1, 1970
    So fun! This retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in modern Pakistan is just a really fun read for fans of Austen and/or multicultural romance. Confession: I have never actually read Pride & Prejudice. I still loved this book. I thought it was very clever how the author retells the story in a clearly recognizable way while giving it the cultural details that make it a unique book (down to the characters' names: Alysba Binat and Valentine Darsee). I don't know a whole lot about Pakistan, bu So fun! This retelling of Pride & Prejudice set in modern Pakistan is just a really fun read for fans of Austen and/or multicultural romance. Confession: I have never actually read Pride & Prejudice. I still loved this book. I thought it was very clever how the author retells the story in a clearly recognizable way while giving it the cultural details that make it a unique book (down to the characters' names: Alysba Binat and Valentine Darsee). I don't know a whole lot about Pakistan, but I could definitely see how a Muslim country with strict rules about sex and marriage could be a whole lot like Austen's England. Comes out in January!
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  • Devoney Looser
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky to get my hands on this book pre-publication and to have a chance to provide an endorsement. The details about the naming of the Lydia-like Lady Binat are still cracking me up. Love this book!Soniah Kamal’s Unmarriageable, a brilliant fictional homage to Pride and Prejudice, reimagined in 21st-century Pakistan, is not only light, bright, and sparkling. It is sassy, sharp, and funny. Her Alysba Binat is transformed into a gifted, defiant English literature teacher at a British school I was lucky to get my hands on this book pre-publication and to have a chance to provide an endorsement. The details about the naming of the Lydia-like Lady Binat are still cracking me up. Love this book!Soniah Kamal’s Unmarriageable, a brilliant fictional homage to Pride and Prejudice, reimagined in 21st-century Pakistan, is not only light, bright, and sparkling. It is sassy, sharp, and funny. Her Alysba Binat is transformed into a gifted, defiant English literature teacher at a British school for girls in provincial Dilipabad. She and her sisters—Jena, Mari, Lady, and Quitty—navigate a shallow world of luxury and privilege, searching for its pockets of fairness, integrity, and, of course, love. Kamal, like Austen, has created a colorful world filled with everyday detail, conversation, and emotion, that also serves as an incisive, loving look at the society it puts under the microscope. This is a beautiful novel.
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  • Sara Jo
    January 1, 1970
    As a fan of the Pride & Prejudice novel, I felt this was a decent Pakistani retelling. However, it felt more like a direct copy playing to PP with all the references to the original and explaining the original. Those of us who are fans already know it so we don’t need the reminders. It would have been better to just aim to be a true retelling.I enjoy learning new cultures and enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the author. I am not familiar with Muslim-Pakistani culture so there were some i As a fan of the Pride & Prejudice novel, I felt this was a decent Pakistani retelling. However, it felt more like a direct copy playing to PP with all the references to the original and explaining the original. Those of us who are fans already know it so we don’t need the reminders. It would have been better to just aim to be a true retelling.I enjoy learning new cultures and enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the author. I am not familiar with Muslim-Pakistani culture so there were some items I struggled with namely how cruel Mrs. Binat and most of the daughters were to each other and others. The same characters from the original PP were cruel/harsh but this novel took it to a new level. Perhaps that is the culture but I did not like it at all. It is never made clear why the author chose to set the novel in 2000 & 2001 either. Alys’s opinions about many things seemed to be better suited to topics that are hot button issues today, even if they were years ago as well.The biggest problem for me was that I did not like Alys at all. Lizzie Bennett is an iconic character and Alys could not fill those shoes. Most of the time I did not like Alys at all and found her self-righteous and annoying.Novel provided for free by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Sarah Shoo
    January 1, 1970
    Pride & Prejudice reimagined in Pakistan in the 21st Century. Overall, I enjoyed this novel; however, it just wasn’t stellar. I prefer retellings to have some sort of original flare. While the novel changes location and culture, the plot is essentially the same. Nothing new there. Also, Alys was incredibly off-putting. She went beyond the pride and prejudice of Lizzie Bennett. Her feminist ideals were militant and her judgement of others was nasty. And the about-face and the end to loving an Pride & Prejudice reimagined in Pakistan in the 21st Century. Overall, I enjoyed this novel; however, it just wasn’t stellar. I prefer retellings to have some sort of original flare. While the novel changes location and culture, the plot is essentially the same. Nothing new there. Also, Alys was incredibly off-putting. She went beyond the pride and prejudice of Lizzie Bennett. Her feminist ideals were militant and her judgement of others was nasty. And the about-face and the end to loving and marrying Darsee just seemed completely against everything she valued through the novel. Thanks to Netgalley and publisher for the ARC
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  • Shikha Malaviya
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so fortunate to have been an early reader of this book. It's unputdownable! It has the same warmth as Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women', but also the astute social observations and acerbic bite as Jane Austen's novels. Soniah Kamal draws the reader quickly into the pandemonium of the Binat family, as they zigzag through love, marriage and societal expectations. Through this novel, we get a deep insight into contemporary Pakistani society through the eyes of smart, independent and sometimes I'm so fortunate to have been an early reader of this book. It's unputdownable! It has the same warmth as Louisa May Alcott's 'Little Women', but also the astute social observations and acerbic bite as Jane Austen's novels. Soniah Kamal draws the reader quickly into the pandemonium of the Binat family, as they zigzag through love, marriage and societal expectations. Through this novel, we get a deep insight into contemporary Pakistani society through the eyes of smart, independent and sometimes rebellious young women, who aren't afraid to question tradition, yet still respect it. With humor, compassion, and sparkling wit, Soniah Kamal has succeeded in not just paying homage to Austen, but carving a niche of her own, by building a portal between Georgian England and modern-day South Asia. I predict this will be a bestseller!
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  • OLT
    January 1, 1970
    It's a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen fans can't seem to get their fill of variations on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I'm not usually one of them because, for me, there's nothing better than Austen's original novel published in the early 1800s. That said, this new novel by Soniah Kamal has, in many ways, pleasantly surprised me.Soniah Kamal was born in Pakistan to a Muslim family who moved to England shortly after her birth. When she was nine, the family moved to Saudi Arabia and, at 16 It's a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen fans can't seem to get their fill of variations on PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I'm not usually one of them because, for me, there's nothing better than Austen's original novel published in the early 1800s. That said, this new novel by Soniah Kamal has, in many ways, pleasantly surprised me.Soniah Kamal was born in Pakistan to a Muslim family who moved to England shortly after her birth. When she was nine, the family moved to Saudi Arabia and, at 16, off she went with her family to live in Pakistan for the next five years. Not happy with the patriarchy of her country, she found a way out by being accepted to university in the United States, where she has been living ever since.So, since it's also, IMO, a universal truth that great literature can transcend countries and borders, cultural and geopolitical differences, even time, it's no wonder that "multicultural" Kamal has successfully moved her version of and homage to P&P to Pakistan in the early 2000s.To a large extent, Kamal has stayed faithful to Austen's original story and characters. Yes, her Elizabeth (Alysba Binat) and Jane (Jena) are spinsters in their early 30s and teach school at the British School of Dilipabad, but the overall dynamic of the Pakistani Binat family is very similar to that of the English Bennetts. And the other important P&P characters are all here and all behave similarly to the originals, with slight tweaks. For example, Lady de Burgh is now Begum Beena dey Bagh, founder of British School Group, a famous school system in Pakistan, one of which is the one in Dilipabad where Alys and Jena work.Probably the biggest deviation from Austen's original is the character of Anne de Burgh. Here she's Annie dey Bagh, international model with a Nigerian boyfriend, who is, at present, ill and living at home. And that brings me to Kamal's Mr. Colllins, who here is a doctor, widowed and with children, who is caring for Annie in her illness.All in all, it's fun to read this variation on P&P with a modern Pakistani twist. You'll find all the usual problems the characters had to face in the original, but, at the same time, you'll learn quite a bit about what life was like in 2000-2001 for upper-middle and upper class Pakistani society. Also, there are enough references to food in this that you'll probably be wanting to check out Pakistani restaurants in your area.I enjoyed this, but with reservations. Kamal has not, with the exception of Annie dey Bagh, improved upon the personalities of the original characters in Austen's work. Alys is too feminist and strident without any of the charm or sparkle of Elizabeth. Jena is too insipid, much more than Austen's Jane. And Kamal's versions of Bingley and Darcy are unimpressive and the two main romances did not touch my romantic heart the way Austen's original couples did. Nor is Kamal's writing as flowing and sparkling as I found Austen's to be.But as an homage to P&P with a cultural twist, this entertains.
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  • Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 I enjoyed this modern day retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Kamal introduces us to Pakistani culture, and show us just how relevant Austen is in any setting.The book opens with a reimagine of the opening lines of Austen’s famous work. I loved this! And it pushed me to reimagine those same lines as a reader! We find Alys as a school teacher and modern day feminist. Other highlights, the main characters get an update - Sherry has a bigger voice in this text, as do many of the other ma 3.5 I enjoyed this modern day retelling of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Kamal introduces us to Pakistani culture, and show us just how relevant Austen is in any setting.The book opens with a reimagine of the opening lines of Austen’s famous work. I loved this! And it pushed me to reimagine those same lines as a reader! We find Alys as a school teacher and modern day feminist. Other highlights, the main characters get an update - Sherry has a bigger voice in this text, as do many of the other main characters. I loved the epilogue, as Kamal gives us her version on how the characters are fairing. This is a book for book lovers, lots of titles to add to my TBR, and so many great bookish references. Well done!Some parts of the text I didn’t care so much for: pacing (wonderful start, slow middle, and rushed final few chapters); the storyline follows the original exactly — I would have loved to see more of an update, and I would have wished for more character development in Darcee.All in all an interesting read!
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  • Taryn
    January 1, 1970
    I was really looking forward to this book and was soooo excited when I got an advanced reader's copy of it. I love Pride and Prejudice but am no where near a purist—I'll take any version or sequel I can get my hands on.However, this one didn't fully deliver for me. For starters, Lizzy in this version (Alys) felt more like Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You. Feminist with an ultra edge. The whole book she was very much against marriage. That in and of itself obviously isn't bad, especially conside I was really looking forward to this book and was soooo excited when I got an advanced reader's copy of it. I love Pride and Prejudice but am no where near a purist—I'll take any version or sequel I can get my hands on.However, this one didn't fully deliver for me. For starters, Lizzy in this version (Alys) felt more like Kat in 10 Things I Hate About You. Feminist with an ultra edge. The whole book she was very much against marriage. That in and of itself obviously isn't bad, especially considering the society she was in (which really is very similar to Jane Austen's day. Women get married or are burdens to their families for the rest of their lives). However, because that was her character, it made the speed at which she fell for the Darcy character (Darsee) not terribly believable. Honestly, I was expecting her to confess to just liking him and she said she full out loved him and that just didn't seem quite in character. I felt like I didn't get to see their relationship develop hardly at all. (I know that's how P&P is, but it just didn't feel right for this character in a more modern setting.)On a personal preference note, I do like it when the author changes the story a little bit or adds some personal flair when writing a retelling. You may know the story, but it takes an additional turn you weren't necessarily expecting. (Jane of Austin and Bride and Prejudice come immediately to mind.) This one however stayed pretty religiously close to the book in terms of events and the course of the story. Pretty much only locations and names were changed. A gay character and an abortion added. And a party instead of a ball and the whole Lucas (Loocus) family going to visit Charlotte (Sherry) instead of just Dad and a sister, but that's about it. Overall, I didn't dislike the book, but it didn't leave me satisfied. Looking forward to reading Pride and seeing if that one is more of what I'm looking for in a retelling of this classic tale.
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  • Aggie
    January 1, 1970
    A difficult read. I expected a lot out of this book, but it didn't really deliver. Plus some parts of it i just cannot tolerate -fat is ugly and undesirable? What are we teaching our youth?Thank you NetGalley for free advance reading copy!
  • Shruthi
    January 1, 1970
    [I was provided a copy by the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]I think this was an interesting retelling of Pride and Prejudice as it debunks the notion that the patriarchal structure in the original novel has not survived into modern times. I also think it tried to examine the original through a post-colonial lens, but the prose was not strong enough to effectively accomplish that while also being a coherent and creative take on this familiar story. While the description [I was provided a copy by the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]I think this was an interesting retelling of Pride and Prejudice as it debunks the notion that the patriarchal structure in the original novel has not survived into modern times. I also think it tried to examine the original through a post-colonial lens, but the prose was not strong enough to effectively accomplish that while also being a coherent and creative take on this familiar story. While the descriptions of family and society life was certainly comparable to Austen's prose, I felt that some of the efforts to modernize and localize the narrative felt clumsy. When Alys, Darsee, or other characters discuss literature or colonialism, it consistently read a bit pedantic, like they were discussing the material in a college syllabus rather than having a believable conversation about books. In other places, the dialogue was more distressing, showcasing a lot of misogyny, colorism/shadeism, homophobia, and fatphobia. While the narrative did not quite endorse these viewpoints, it was still uncomfortable to read. Also, there were plenty of descriptions of clothes, food, and entertainment but the Urdu words were all italicized to the point of overtaking multiple paragraphs. I understand that it was likely for the purpose of helping readers who are unfamiliar with Pakistani culture, but I felt like the book prioritized that group of readers over those that might actually know about these things (I felt it went overboard when the book italicized "sari" and "samosa" as foreign notions).
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    The setting: "[a] retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, the five Binat sisters and their marriage-obsessed mother navigate a world where money trumps morality and double standards rule the day." Of course, the Binat family has no fortune and bad luck. And, there is a Darsee [Darcy].The heroine is Alys, "the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, [who] has found happiness teaching English literature to school girls." Much of the book centers The setting: "[a] retelling of Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, the five Binat sisters and their marriage-obsessed mother navigate a world where money trumps morality and double standards rule the day." Of course, the Binat family has no fortune and bad luck. And, there is a Darsee [Darcy].The heroine is Alys, "the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, [who] has found happiness teaching English literature to school girls." Much of the book centers around Alys--who I liked.A fast read with much humor --which often found me chuckling. "Mrs. Fecker's gargantuan eyelashes, supposedly imported from Milan, were apparently weighing down her eyes because it took her a moment to recognize Mr. and Mrs. Bark Binat.""... balding, sartorially dismal man.""...dressed in flapper-style long frocks... the twins looked like shredded streamers."What I most enjoyed--learning of the local Pakistani culture and customs.BUT. If you know the story of Pride and Prejudice [and who doesn't], there aren't many surprises. So, in that respect, too neat. Nonetheless, often charming so it kept me going. Sometimes a 3.5, but not enough to round up. Question: Why is it set in 2000 and 2001?
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  • Staci
    January 1, 1970
    Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that takes place in modern day Pakistan.There were many things that I enjoyed about this novel. The author did a really nice job recreating the story and modern day Pakistan was the perfect back drop for it due to its apparent culture of raising girls to be wives and mothers while frowning upon a woman who desires independence and a career. The Binat sisters - Jena, Alys, Qitty, Mari, and Lady - had very distinct and individual p Unmarriageable is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice that takes place in modern day Pakistan.There were many things that I enjoyed about this novel. The author did a really nice job recreating the story and modern day Pakistan was the perfect back drop for it due to its apparent culture of raising girls to be wives and mothers while frowning upon a woman who desires independence and a career. The Binat sisters - Jena, Alys, Qitty, Mari, and Lady - had very distinct and individual personalities. Eccentric characters like Farhat Kaleen (or as Lady liked to say, Fart Bhai), and the always dramatic, Pinkie Binat, made this novel quite entertaining.Unfortunately, the chemistry between Alys and Darsee was really lacking. There should have been chemistry stemming from the denial and the gradual recognition of mutual attraction. The reader should be antsy with anticipation, waiting for Alys and Darsee to show up together in any given scene, and racing through pages, unable to wait until they finally get together. It just wasn’t there. I enjoyed this cute and entertaining novel. ARC was provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books.
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  • Maggie Holmes
    January 1, 1970
    Kamal makes Pride and Prejudice her own, not just some pastiche of Austen's story. While the names are a little too obvious, the characters are not the same as Austen's; they are just in similar situations in a different culture. That is Kamal's point: literature shows us universal truths about human nature that goes beyond the differences in ethnicity, geography and religion. The Binat family is more fully developed than the Bennett family. They have been abroad and therefore exposed to a wider Kamal makes Pride and Prejudice her own, not just some pastiche of Austen's story. While the names are a little too obvious, the characters are not the same as Austen's; they are just in similar situations in a different culture. That is Kamal's point: literature shows us universal truths about human nature that goes beyond the differences in ethnicity, geography and religion. The Binat family is more fully developed than the Bennett family. They have been abroad and therefore exposed to a wider variety of experiences than many of their Pakistani neighbors. They have been misused by their family and left impoverished. Even the Pakistani version of the Lucas family have more back story. What happens to everyone is pretty much the same as in Pride and Prejudice, but there is a full description of Pakistani wedding customs and food that bring the world into bright colors. Kamal shows us the troubles women face in this culture when marriage is often seen as their only option. She plays with the opening line of P&P: "it is a truth universally acknowledged", to show different people's truths that they think are acknowledged. As a reader, I want to explore some of the books and stories that Alys suggests to her friends and students and I'd love to try some of the food!Thanks to Netgalley for the prepub version of this book.
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  • Joy Smith
    January 1, 1970
    Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books and is in my permanent library so this updating of that classic caught my attention. It's definitely updated for the modern reader, and it's set in Pakistan with lots of background, including the culture and words related to clothes and food that most readers won't recognize, though the author does use them in context with the occasional explanation. (It would be too hard to enjoy with all the footnotes required.) However, she's done a fantastic jo Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books and is in my permanent library so this updating of that classic caught my attention. It's definitely updated for the modern reader, and it's set in Pakistan with lots of background, including the culture and words related to clothes and food that most readers won't recognize, though the author does use them in context with the occasional explanation. (It would be too hard to enjoy with all the footnotes required.) However, she's done a fantastic job with the names and characters. The story is full of parallels; if you know the book, you will certainly appreciate this version.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    I love Pride & Prejudice retellings. I also love all things Indian. I realize this is Pakistan, and that's probably incorrect of me to say. But I've been obsessed with foods from those countries lately and hearing them told about in this book made me love them all the more. Plus, I went to an Indian wedding celebration in May that had a very similar set up to the one in this book, which made me miss that as well. Such a great retelling!Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book set in a countr I love Pride & Prejudice retellings. I also love all things Indian. I realize this is Pakistan, and that's probably incorrect of me to say. But I've been obsessed with foods from those countries lately and hearing them told about in this book made me love them all the more. Plus, I went to an Indian wedding celebration in May that had a very similar set up to the one in this book, which made me miss that as well. Such a great retelling!Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book set in a country that fascinates you
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  • Trianna
    January 1, 1970
    This is an entertaining Pride & Prejudice retelling. It is a great retelling (follows the original plot very well), but also has enough individuality to stand on its own. I really enjoyed seeing this twist on my favorite classic. It was a bit slow at times, but that could be due to me not having the chance to read big chunks at once. *Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review*
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  • Lenora Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    I am not much for modern retellings of Pride and Prejudice but I enjoyed this one. It was witty and opened a new perspective, makes you realize that there are Mr. Darcy's all over the world.
  • Jennifer S. Brown
    January 1, 1970
    In the novel Unmarriageable, the main character Alys discusses literature and authors with a friend: "O'Connor, Austen, Alcott, Wharton. Characters' emotions and situations are universally applicable across cultures, whether you're wearing an empire dress, shalwar kurta, or kimono." Kamal proves that point beautifully with this retelling of Pride and Prejudice.The characters are familiar--Alys Binat and her older sister Jenna, along with younger siblings Lady, Qitty, and Mari and love interest V In the novel Unmarriageable, the main character Alys discusses literature and authors with a friend: "O'Connor, Austen, Alcott, Wharton. Characters' emotions and situations are universally applicable across cultures, whether you're wearing an empire dress, shalwar kurta, or kimono." Kamal proves that point beautifully with this retelling of Pride and Prejudice.The characters are familiar--Alys Binat and her older sister Jenna, along with younger siblings Lady, Qitty, and Mari and love interest Valentine Darsee--and their plot lines are straight out of Austen. Yet the refreshing change of scene (and time period--this story is contemporary, taking place in the early 2000s) makes for a fresh spin on the story. Alys is decidedly feminist, and her best friend, Sherry, views things with a more experience eye than Austen's Charlotte. One of the things I enjoyed the most was that the character of Alys is an Austen fan herself--she assigns her students to write a different ending to the famous beginning of P&P ("It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife"). Alys is able to discuss the state of women and the social mores of Pakistan with a critical eye, especially in relation to Austen's time. And in doing so, she (and Kamal) doesn't shy away from more difficult subjects.But forget all that. Forget what a clever update this is. Even if you've never read P&P, the story is simply fun. The Pakistani food (this novel will make you hungry) and parties and customs are not ones I've read much about, so it was a wonderful insight into another culture. The school life was so interesting (Alys and Jena are both teachers), and I learned a lot about what is expected of both the teachers and the students. The romance is sweet, and I was so sorry to leave the Binats' world when the story ended. A fantastic novel!
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks NetGalley and Random House for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.4.5 stars--I LOVED this book, and recommend it for Jane-ites and anyone who loves learning about other cultures.This novel wrestles with all of the traditional narratives of Pride and Prejudice, but with a uniquely Pakistani view. In a lot of ways, placing Austen's story within an Islamic culture actually helped me understand the characters better--it's much easier to feel the weight of Lady’s (Lydia's) th Thanks NetGalley and Random House for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.4.5 stars--I LOVED this book, and recommend it for Jane-ites and anyone who loves learning about other cultures.This novel wrestles with all of the traditional narratives of Pride and Prejudice, but with a uniquely Pakistani view. In a lot of ways, placing Austen's story within an Islamic culture actually helped me understand the characters better--it's much easier to feel the weight of Lady’s (Lydia's) thoughtless decisions in a society that values modesty above all else, and the responsibility on Mrs. Binat to marry off her daughters in an honor-driven culture. The author also does a great job of making all of the characters more dynamic--this is the first novelization I've ever read where I truly sympathized with "Charlotte." Mr. Collins, Bingley, even Mr. Bennet's character were all written as flawed human beings, rather than golden heroes or comedic fodder.The obvious comparison as a Westerner is the film Bride and Prejudice, but this book is better. The most glaring difference is that the marriage of Pakistani culture with Westernization is found in the author herself, so she has first-hand experience in both worlds. In contrast, the Bollywood version of the story tried to incorporate both UK and Indian film studios to write the narrative, which means the portrayal of both cultures rings false. I'm not saying don't watch that movie--but expect Unmarriageable to be much more dynamic.I laughed out loud at moments, teared up at others, and flew through the last half of the book--which, really, isn't that the marker of a Good Story?Pros:-The characterization! Kamal beautifully portrays her characters with rich backstories and flaws, something that Austen's novel lacks unless it specifically relates to the plot. This means you get to explore Mr. and Mrs. Binats' relationship (including Mrs. Binat's strengths and Mr. Binat's weaknesses--shocking), as well as Sherry and Khaleen's dynamic and Annie's story. It's remarkable how much this changes the scope of the story. I have to add that Kamal's Mr. Binatr is much more lovable for his flaws, and he clearly loves all of his daughters for who they are. My favorite quote from the novel is his:"I wanted to tell him about my kind and generous Jena, my fearless Alys, my artist Qitty, who holds her head up no matter what anyone says to her, and my Mari, who just wants everyone to go to heaven. Even my silly, selfish Lady, who doesn't know what is good for her and just wants to have a good time all the time. But I didn't tell him about any one of my daughters. He doesn't deserve to know a single thing about my precious girls."-The descriptions of Pakistani culture in this book are so vibrant. You've got the typical descriptions of stuff like clothes, geography, and food (OH MY WORD THE FOOD), but I loved reading the different perspectives of women's' roles within their community, and what warrants respect. You've got beautifully snarky descriptions of events and people that, even if you've never encountered that stereotype before, you understand at a glance. As a reader, it feels like you've been invited into a Pakistani home, and I was so grateful for the "hospitality" of learning about another culture from a non-imperial narrator.-The discussion of feminism. Obviously, Alys is extremely feminist for a woman living in small-town Pakistan (a perspective that is realistically attributed to a university education preceding a back-slide down the social ladder). The conversations surrounding Pakistani feminism are RADICALLY different than western conversations--a passing reference to a spurned suitor throwing ACID in a woman's face has haunted me all week--and it made me sit for a moment with what is at stake for so many women.-The cover is absolutely gorgeous, isn't it?Cons:-In comparison to the richness of the side characters, the relationship between Alys and Darsee is kind of bland. Kamal tried really hard to make their relationship realistic while paying homage to Austen's Darcy, but ultimately his character felt a little flat to me. I suppose it must be very difficult to write a believable male feminist protagonist, because those are very rare in nature. I was half expecting (view spoiler)[ that Alys would stay single through the end of the book. Her change in perspective about Darcy was just as abrupt as it was in Austen's novel (hide spoiler)] .-Some of the discussions about feminism seem a little forced. Obviously, the theme of any book is going to be driven hard, but there were a few places I felt the observations seemed out of place or inorganic.-You have to wait another few months to read it--the publication date is January 15, 2019.
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    Soniah Kamal’s Unmarriageable is an warm story about sisterhood and friendship, as well as a love letter to Pride and Prejudice. The five Binat sisters live in Dilipabad, a small Pakistani town just across the Indian border from Amritsar (the setting of the Bollywood spinoff Bride and Prejudice. Is that not how everyone learns geography?). A family estrangement has left their branch struggling, unable to live as they used to, so the older girls teach English, while Mrs. Binat schemes about beaut Soniah Kamal’s Unmarriageable is an warm story about sisterhood and friendship, as well as a love letter to Pride and Prejudice. The five Binat sisters live in Dilipabad, a small Pakistani town just across the Indian border from Amritsar (the setting of the Bollywood spinoff Bride and Prejudice. Is that not how everyone learns geography?). A family estrangement has left their branch struggling, unable to live as they used to, so the older girls teach English, while Mrs. Binat schemes about beautification to catch wealthy husbands. Teenage Lady flirts with everyone, Mari is a pedantic Quran reader, and youngest sister Qitty is chubby and forgotten. This has everything we love in P&P, with a distinctly Pakistani style.Jena and Alys are both over 30, a successful updating of the Bennet sisters’ impoverished gentry background, especially since handsome Bungles is only 25. This is exactly what Bingley sisters and gossipy aunties will turn into a massive mismatch and social disaster, when it’s really a tiny obstacle for a loving marriage. The Binat sisters are English teachers at the local girls’ school, which is respectable if not impressive employment, even if Alys keeps getting scolded for running her mouth in class and leading her students to question their roles as wives-to-be.Alys and her friends have discussions about literature in translation and colonialism. (So yes, I immediately requested all the books that Alys buys in Lahore from my library. Naturally.) There are also some comments on the joys of rereading Pride and Prejudice, which make this feel like a real love letter to Jane Austen, and Unmarriageable characters discuss their favorite Austen characters and Jane’s view of marriage. I particularly enjoyed when Annie, a chronically ill former model with a secret Nigerian boyfriend, talks about how mild and silent Anne de Burgh is. But, if you’ve read P&P, though, how do you trust a Jeorgeullah Wickaam? Alys, don’t be distracted by a handsome face!The question of marriage and finances is a central part of Austen’s work, but I’m not sure how well the impoverished-family works as a plot device or character background right now. Current American morality sees poverty as a temporary setback to be overcome with hard work, and also considers laziness is an unforgivable personality failing. So, a poor young woman is no longer an unfortunate victim of circumstance, but a lazy taker. BOOTSTRAPS, BENNETS! Ugh. I kind of hate everything right now, and I double hate that our miserable news cycle leaks into my fiction reading.Sherry Looclus, Alys’ coworker and friend, is even older and even more worried about money than the Binat girls. (OH! And Sir Lucas becomes Haji Looclus, a clever reimagining which took me a while to get. I just figured Haji was his first name, I didn’t realize he’d claimed the title of a Muslim who’s completed the Mecca pilgrimage.) Although it’s easy to see Mr. Collins as a ridiculous figure, we can also see how happy Sherry is to get out of her parents’ house (to fly the pigeon coop, maybe?), to mother her lovely step-children, and to have enough money that she can quit the girls’ school and work on her own projects. Of course she doesn’t have a love match, and Kaleen is still no Darsee, but you can see a partnership here.Unmarriageable was such a great story that I forced myself to slow down reading it. I loved the revisions of familiar characters in a new setting. This novel is full of Pakistani flavor, but it’s still quite accessible to anyone with a gossipy auntie or a handsome crush.
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  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    This is billed as Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan. It doesn't disappoint. The general plot follows the original, but with a distinctly new flair. There is a line in the book that talks about mixing scones and samosas and that is a pretty good way to describe the story itself. Our favorite sisters are all present; the beautiful and kind Jena, the flirtatious and boundary-pushing Lady, the reserved and pious Mari, and the artistic Qitty. Set in 2000 and 2001 Pakistan, the Binat family once again This is billed as Pride & Prejudice in Pakistan. It doesn't disappoint. The general plot follows the original, but with a distinctly new flair. There is a line in the book that talks about mixing scones and samosas and that is a pretty good way to describe the story itself. Our favorite sisters are all present; the beautiful and kind Jena, the flirtatious and boundary-pushing Lady, the reserved and pious Mari, and the artistic Qitty. Set in 2000 and 2001 Pakistan, the Binat family once again serves as a commentary on societal expectations of women and the double standards they face. But there are some new changes that I found interesting, too. For example, Qitty spends much of the novel being fat-shamed by Lady. In the original P&P, I found Kitty to be more of a prop or a throwaway character. Here Qitty holds her own and gets the proper ending that Kitty never did. Another new aspect of the story is the mingling of different religions and cultures. Before the familial falling out that sentenced the Binats to live in Dilipibad, Alys attended international schools and mentions the influence they had on her worldview. There is a mix of Hindu and Muslim traditions, and even the celebration of a Christian holiday by a beloved aunt, as well as a scene that incorporates the closing of the border to India. And don't get me started on the wedding events. I need this to be made into a Netflix film ASAP just so I can watch the party scenes. There were a couple of things that brought me out of the story a little, however. There is a lot of exposition. Anything that was necessary for a non-desi like me to understand what was happening from a cultural perspective, I understood. But there were a few instances, especially early on as she covered the family backstory that info dumping slowed the story down quite a bit. The other down for me was the head-hopping. The story is in the third person omniscient, but it still pulled me out of the tale to slide from Mrs. Binat's thoughts to Jena's to Alys' to Darsee's in the span of a few sentences. I have seen a couple of other reviewers who said they found Alys militantly feminist and unlikeable and they thought the Binat sisters too cruel to each other. I, however, would disagree. Given the cultural contexts of each story, the characters are spot on. The original Bennet sisters were quite cutting and judgemental of each other, especially Lydia and Kitty. And I think that Elizabeth would have been thrilled to see her reincarnation in Alys. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The visual created by the setting gave the story new life. Go ahead and make plans to give this to yourself as a belated Christmas gift. You won't regret it.
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  • Susie Williams
    January 1, 1970
    (I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review)4.5 stars Oooh what a delightful book! I honestly didn't want it to end and I want to be friends with Alys so much! The book is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, taking place in modern day Pakistan. It focuses on Alys (AKA Elizabeth Bennet), a driven young woman who has no desire to get married, despite her family's wishes for her. I found it so interesting that Austen's Pride and Prejudice was written in the early 1800s and that (I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review)4.5 stars Oooh what a delightful book! I honestly didn't want it to end and I want to be friends with Alys so much! The book is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice, taking place in modern day Pakistan. It focuses on Alys (AKA Elizabeth Bennet), a driven young woman who has no desire to get married, despite her family's wishes for her. I found it so interesting that Austen's Pride and Prejudice was written in the early 1800s and that thoughts on marriage and being female are so different than they are in most of the Western world today. But in places like Pakistan, these ideals are still widely held. In many cases, parents desperately want their daughters to get married to upstanding men and will push them incredibly hard. It's seen as odd to be a single woman in your 30s or to have a career. And it's no odd to get engaged after meeting just a couple times even when you're quite young.The Binat family consists of five sisters who are all very different from each other, as well as an overbearing mother and laissez faire father. When Alys meets Valentine Darsee (Darcy), she immediately dislikes him, but since he's best friends with the man her sister is "crushing" on, she's forced to see him on many occasions. But no matter because Alys has no interest in getting married and despite her mother's desires, she's perfectly happy going to her teaching job and reading books in her spare time. I loved Alys's strong opinionated personality and respect her so much for staying true to her beliefs. But all of the sisters had something quirky and fun about them, making the book incredibly enjoyable to read.Honestly, my only issue with the book is that it follows the Pride and Prejudice plot a little too closely. I get that it's a re-telling, but even all of the characters' names were plays on the originals and it felt a little silly to me. This probably isn't a big deal if you're not super familiar with P&P, but as someone who is, I found myself just rolling my eyes at some points. BUT that was the only thing I really disliked and my love for the characters overrules that. I will most definitely be reading whatever Soniah Kamal publishes next!
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  • Megan
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes, and I also won a paperback ARC from the Goodreads First Reads program.The high-starred reviews on this one got me really excited. I'm a sucker for Austen, and I know P&P like the back of my hand. Which made this... disappointing. Here's the thing. It was a really good book. I enjoyed the feminism and the characters' forward-thinking opinions (well, some of them anyway). I loved the writing style, and I even like how Ka I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley for review purposes, and I also won a paperback ARC from the Goodreads First Reads program.The high-starred reviews on this one got me really excited. I'm a sucker for Austen, and I know P&P like the back of my hand. Which made this... disappointing. Here's the thing. It was a really good book. I enjoyed the feminism and the characters' forward-thinking opinions (well, some of them anyway). I loved the writing style, and I even like how Kamal really explored Alys' change of heart regarding Darsee, instead of leaving it to feel like she was wowed by his awesome house.But despite all of that, I could *not* get past the fact that this was a literal retelling of the story I know and love, complete with similar-sounding character names and some even identical situations. My biggest problem is not that it was just a retelling, but that it was a retelling that CONSTANTLY referenced P&P and Austen, and yet the main character did not seem to realize she was freaking LIVING P&P! She talks about it all the time, but never once thinks, "Hm, I feel like I know how this is going to end because my life and everyone in it is exactly like this book I'm obsessed with..."This would have been a four- or even five-starred review if the book didn't reference Austen at all. It was so amazingly similar that every time Austen was mentioned it threw me out of the story and back into the original. And in that respect, the Bollywood movie Bride and Prejudice did it much better. Yes, it was super cheesy. But there was no Austen reference, so I wasn't sitting there wondering why all the characters were so damn dense about it. (Plus, we got the Mr. Collins character and his "No Life Without Wife" hand gestures, and the ridiculous song, which are arguably the best things about that movie. So there's that.)That said, if none of what I said above bothers you (and apparently it didn't bother a bunch of other P&P fans, so to each his/her own), then by all means, read and enjoy. I liked it, but because it constantly referenced its primary source, I couldn't love it.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    A modern day take on Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan. It’s the year 2000 in the novel but the situation is still the same: a mother is trying to marrying off her daughters.Alys (pronounced like Alice) and Jena are teachers. Sometimes Alys is frustrated to feel that she is only teaching the students until they leave to get married. I think Alys gives this retelling a great feminist spin. I know P&P was feminist too but it’s interesting to see this modern take. Because it’s harder to pictu A modern day take on Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan. It’s the year 2000 in the novel but the situation is still the same: a mother is trying to marrying off her daughters.Alys (pronounced like Alice) and Jena are teachers. Sometimes Alys is frustrated to feel that she is only teaching the students until they leave to get married. I think Alys gives this retelling a great feminist spin. I know P&P was feminist too but it’s interesting to see this modern take. Because it’s harder to picture thus scenario in our current time, it’s harder to understand a mother treating her daughters like they can’t be happy unless they catch a husband.Mrs Binat is a materialistic but mainly because she thinks the only way her daughters can be ok is if the find rich husbands.Can you picture your mom actually insisting that a guy will propose to you the second time you see him?But that’s the cool thing about setting this story in Pakistan. It’s modern day but the rules are different. And if Pakistan is like the author wrote it, it’s incredibly rough to be a single woman there. The Pakistan of this story compares more to Jane Austen’s England than it does to present day America.So, picture all of that, and then picture a fiesty Alys encouraging women to get an education. Picture her insisting to her mom that she’s happy.And then of course picture Darsee because this is still a bit of a love story.It’s a big, modern day, feminist, Pakistani take on P&P. I enjoyed it. I thought there were some slow spots in the story but I enjoyed it over all. I’ve tried to cut back on P&P retellings but I ultimately can’t resist.Thanks to NetGalley for an early edition ebook of this novel.
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  • David Reed
    January 1, 1970
    Soniah did an admirable job of portraying Pakistani culture circa 2000 CE and honoring the original work. She bravely exposes and challenges many uncomfortable aspects of our Muslim culture that too many others shy away from as awkward and uncomfortable. Her characterizations are fresh and yet familiar. She preserved the feel of Austen in an updated era while delivering fresh lines for uniquely familiar players.I have two nits to pick. First, I had hoped that a modern reinterpretation would adop Soniah did an admirable job of portraying Pakistani culture circa 2000 CE and honoring the original work. She bravely exposes and challenges many uncomfortable aspects of our Muslim culture that too many others shy away from as awkward and uncomfortable. Her characterizations are fresh and yet familiar. She preserved the feel of Austen in an updated era while delivering fresh lines for uniquely familiar players.I have two nits to pick. First, I had hoped that a modern reinterpretation would adopt modern conventions of deep point of view rather than the quasi-omniscient head-hopping more common in bygone years. That said, Soniah executed her Austenian style well and I was never lost in POV, only annoyed from time to time. Second, I think there were some missed metastory opportunities because the characters (many of who have read "Pride & Prejudice") never really discuss or reflect upon their own similarities in roles to the original. The only meta references felt tossed off and lacking in self-awareness by otherwise mature characters. Both lacks did not detract from the story, but it could have been more powerful (for me).This book was particularly special for my family. My wife (from Karachi) played the part of Alysba to my Darsee in our own rendition of "Unmarriageable" a decade earlier than the setting of this work. Nevertheless, we enjoyed sharing many of Soniah's entertaining scenes with one another, and our children. The book rings uncomfortably but entertainingly true.I'm looking forward to reading more of Soniah's work.
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