Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan
Unmarriageable is a well-written and enlightening, retelling of the classic novel, Pride & Prejudice. This book is set in modern-day Pakistan and is crafted with rich cultural details, natural dialogue, and humor.
Barkat Binat was cheated out of his inheritance, by his brother. Financially, Barkat had no choice but to move his wife and five daughters, from their affluent neighborhood to a small town, Dilipibad. Barkat’s two oldest daughters, Alys and Jena, worked as teachers, and contributed to the household expenses, keeping the family afloat.
The story follows the Binat daughters, their heartaches, humiliations, and joys, as well as the men who captured their hearts. Valentine Darsee was my favorite character. He’s a loyal, generous, and wealthy man. He did his best to win Alys Binat’s heart. She, however, much to Valentine’s dismay, was infatuated with, Wickaam, his good-for-nothing cousin. Wickaam was a devilishly handsome scoundrel and a shameless flirt. He left painful imprints on every heart he snagged.
I found the story captivating, and the author’s descriptions of Pakistan’s culture fascinating, and educational. I did not like Mrs. Binat, at all. I found her to be controlling, conniving, and more than willing to marry her daughters off to the highest bidder. The many different personalities in this book are well depicted and add depth to the story.
If you enjoyed Pride and Prejudice, and wouldn’t mind reading, a retelling of the classic, in a modern-day Pakistan setting, then this book is for you. A fascinating read.
Thank you, Ballantine Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy!
~4 out of 5 stars~
Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)
Soniah Kamal is an award winning essayist and fiction writer. Her novel ‘Unmarriageable’ is a retelling of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride & Prejudice’ and set in Pakistan. Her debut novel, An Isolated Incident, was a finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction and the KLF French Fiction Prize. Her TEDx talk, “Redreaming Your Dream,” is about regrets and second chances. Her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, Catapult, The Normal School, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Missing Slate, BuzzFeed, The James Dickey Review, Scroll.in and Literary Hub. soniahkamal.com