Pride: A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Ibi
Zoboi fulfills the category “Book
by a Muslim American Author” for the PopSugar 2021 Reading Challenge. I took
this title from Goodreads list, but I can’t seem to confirm if Ms. Zoboi is
actually Muslim. I don’t care. I love this story and had it on my TBR list
before I found it fit the prompt.
a huge Jane Austen fan, and Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite
book. I think I’ve mentioned it 645 times in this blog. I always have trouble
with rewrites (and thus far have not attempted my own adaptation, though I have
a great idea.) I loved the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure version but hated a
contemporary Sense and Sensibility.
Pride is so very different. This time we are
in Brooklyn, specifically Bushwick, with a Latino/Black family of five
daughters. Our Bennetts are the Benitez family. Zuri is our Elizabeth with all
the dry humor, loving sister, and modern teen-ness of the Austen work. Also,
Mom is less obnoxious, as is Lydia (Layla). Enter the Darcys. The house across
the street is purchased and renovated in a gentrification of the neighborhood.
Two brothers move in with their parents—Darius and Ainsley. And they are
handsome boys. The neighborhood buzzes with excitement, but Zuri isn’t having it.
I love how this book takes the prejudice of Zuri
about newcomers and her pride in her neighborhood, friends, and family to show
all the connections to the original work. Zuri is a stubborn, smart, ambitious
girl. We root for her and her family from page one. As we all know from the original,
Darius will be her humbling. I’m
not sure this retelling emphasized it as much. And that’s okay. As it’s a
modern take, we want the couple to be equals and compatible. We don’t want Zuri
to submit. (Personally, the real Darcy went a long way to show the original
Elizabeth his worth and break her pride.) Darius never seems to break Zuri’s
pride in her neighborhood, family, or herself. I loved that about him.
As this was a shorter version of the story, some of
my favorite scenes were kinda missing. I live for Darcy’s first proposal. That scene didn’t come off quite the
same. But that’s just fine. The tale Ms. Zoboi wove adapted the situation
perfectly. Also, some storylines were cut a bit. I would have liked to see more
between Ainsley and Janae (the oldest sister). Bingley and Jane’s story always
tugs at my heart. So, yes, a few elements were missing, but nothing was taken
away. The novel was whole and complete.
I do think I need to grab the book on paper. (I
listened on audio. The reader was amazing.) But Zuri is a poet. I’ve never been great with
poetry, especially spoken poems. I need to see it and read it again and again
until it sticks in my brain. I’ve always had a block about this form of
literature. I feel like I missed some wonderful things by not experiencing
Zuri’s poems in print.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I think
it should be taught in schools as a companion to the original. Thank you so
much to my good friend, Rosemary, for recommending it!
I give Pride:
A Pride & Prejudice Remix by Ibi Zoboi Five Haiku Love Poems.