Rummanah Aasi

Description: In this retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in modern-day Pakistan, Alys Binat has sworn never to marry--until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider. A scandal and vicious rumor in the Binat family have 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 schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won't make it to graduation before 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 to 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 Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her, and quickly dismisses 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 from the one she saw at first glance.

Review: I had a very hard time reading Unmmariageable. I so very much wanted to read a fun, insightful retelling of Pride and Prejudice from my culture. My expectations were too high and instead I read what seemed like a very poor fan fiction of Pride and Prejudice without the charm, wit, and keen cultural criticism which made the original a classic.
  The author's writing was solid when it came to the description of events and showing how the world of Austen is not far from Pakistan's culture where woman are still defined by the clothes she wears and who she marries though she does not provide social context to readers who are unfamiliar with Pakistani culture. There are attempts at calling attention to fat shaming and the absurd ideal of beauty but it falls flat. The plot closely follows the original, but the characters are ridiculously named and much like a poke instead of a nudge of addressing the characters, completely flat and unlikable. Even our famous pairing is lopsided in which Alysbeth is completely annoying and insufferable that I had no idea why Darsee would be interested in her at all. There is no character development of Darsee and the romance between any of the characters is virtually nonexistent. Definitely skip this one and watch Bride and Prejudice for a South Asian spin on the classic. 

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, mention of drug and alcohol abuse, mentions of sexual situations and abortions, and crude sexual humor. Recommended to adults and older teens.

If you like this book try: Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
2 Responses
  1. Oh what a disappointment! Pride and Prejudice has been done so many times; I wonder if we're done with it, so to speak?

  2. Ah shucks, I was hopeful that this book would be good. Darn.

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