‘Unmarriageable’ by Soniah Kamal – eARC Book Review

Blurb from Goodreads

A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Pakistan

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 for her to accept a proposal. But Alys Binat is resolute she will not marry.

This warm and witty tug-of-love between mothers, daughters and rich, eligible bachelors is a fresh take on Jane Austen’s original.

My Review

I adore Jane Austen.

And I mean ADORE!

I’m also very precious about her novels and am not a fan of writers reworking them or reimagining them because I think the beauty with Jane was in her characters. Her characters were always so well written…

So it was with some trepidation that I started this book…

I need not have been worried as this is a terrifically funny and intelligent update of Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice. 

The setting of this book is moved to Pakistan in 2001 and wow, does it work. The characters, although modelled on Austen’s characters, are just fabulously fun to read about and each comes alive on the page and really help to create this original feel to this book. 

My favourite character was definitely Sherry who really helped to breathe new life into the Charlotte Lucas/Mr Collins storyline of the original.

And I definitely enjoyed the aged up MC Alys who was this book’s Elizabeth Bennett character. She was fabulously feisty and fiercely independent and was a joy to read about. Although I would have liked a few more scenes in the first half of the book with her and the Mr Darcy character, Darcee. To me his appearances were definitely undercooked and I felt he was sometimes the forgotten counterpoint to Alys. And I did feel that there was a rushed sense to his and Alys’ falling out over the modernised Wickham character known here as Wickaam. 

But even though the bones of this book are the same as that of Pride and Prejudice, there is so much detail about Pakistani life and culture packed in that the story feels fresh and modernised. And wow did this book make my mouth water with all its delicious descriptions of food! 

An enjoyable and entertaining read that I definitely recommend to both fans of the original and fans of contemporary fiction 

*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Allison and Busby, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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13 thoughts on “‘Unmarriageable’ by Soniah Kamal – eARC Book Review

  1. Great review, Emer! I’m always looking for new Pride & Prejudice retellings because that’s my all time favorite Austen 🙂 I read Pride earlier this year and it was alright but I think I expected more from it, so I’m looking forward to this one!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I personally thought Pride was a little lacking in character depth/development. I did like parts of it but yeah, I was kinda disappointed with the characters… 🙁 I still love the cover though! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

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