30 Austen books (adaptations and retellings)

This contemporary Pride & Prejudice update is set in Pakistan, 2001, and features a modern-day version of the family you know and love: the Binat family includes a sharp-witted father, marriage-obsessed mother, and five daughters. Despite the difference of centuries, it’s clear how women’s concerns are similar between Austen’s time and Kamal’s. Alysba teaches English, and in a fun opening scene she challenges her teenage students to reinterpret Austen's famous opening line. Kamal uses her heroine's profession—and accompanying love of reading—to explore themes of colonialism and identity; she also despite these weighty themes she keeps her tone light and sometimes irreverent. (Just wait till you hear how the Bingleys make their money!) This is, above all, a rom com—and it's a fun one.
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"Because while it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single, Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there’s an even greater truth: To his Indian mother, his own inclinations were of secondary importance." In this P&P-inspired retelling, set in contemporary Toronto, Darcy becomes Khalid, a devout Muslim man whose mother is trying to marry him off. Elizabeth becomes Ayesha, a teacher who'd much prefer to be a poet. When they first meet, it's utter disaster: she thinks he's rigid and judgmental; he thinks she's not a good Muslim because she's holding a drink (virgin) and cigarette (not hers). But circumstances bring them together again, of course. I loved the supporting cast featuring good friends, a cousin dreaming of a Bollywood-inspired wedding, an embarrassing mother, and a Shakespeare-quoting grandpa. If you're a P&P devotee, this is a delight. If you've never read the original, you can still enjoy this story about love, family, obligation, and romance.
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At the dawn of another New Year, Bridget Jones is 32, single, and desperate to take control of her life—so she starts keeping a diary. And such a diary. Bridget is a free spirit, fond of witty banter, enthusiastic about everything, and her enthusiasm lives on every page, where she shares her never-lukewarm opinions about everything from diet to work her love life. She may seem flighty, but she's always searching for deeper meaning. She also has great people skills. This might not be obvious when she first meets straight-laced barrister Mark Darcy (INTJ), but the novel is based on Pride and Prejudice, so of course they get off to a bumpy start.
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This follow-up to Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors stands on its own. In this loose retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, Ashna is a Bay Area chef so desperate to save her family’s failing restaurant she agrees to compete on the reality tv show Cooking with the Stars. That’s where she reconnects with her first love—now a Brazilian soccer star—on live tv, for the first time since he disappeared twelve years ago on the worst night of her life. Dev puts her own spin on Austen’s classic, while highlighting the timeless themes of the original: a young woman sensitive to her family’s criticism, a disadvantaged young man with no credentials but a bright future, an unexpected second chance at first love. A sensitive, satisfying update.
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Pride and Prejudice meets Downton Abbey: this is Austen's classic story, retold from the servant's perspective. You'll love it or you'll hate it. (But hey, polarizing books make for great discussion.) Book club discussion highlight: what Baker did with Mr. Wickham. (Shudder.)
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Theodosia Sullivan doesn't see marriage in her future, but she does enjoy playing matchmaker for everyone who steps into her family's surf shop in Hanalei Bay. Sound like a familiar Austen heroine? Local baker Kini ʻŌpūnui warns Theo about her matchmaking machinations, but of course Theo presses on—until she realizes that her feelings for Kini might be deeper than just friendship. This slow burn LGBTQ romance provides a beautiful escape in a lush setting, as well as plenty of Austen-inspired charm.
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You all keep saying this fresh update on Jean Webster's 1899 classic Daddy-Long-Legs is your favorite Katherine Reay novel; I think it might be mine as well. Samantha Moore spent her childhood struggling in the foster care system, relying on her favorite literary characters to survive. She even expresses herself using their words when she can't find her own. Samantha's big break comes when a "Mr. Knightley" offers her a full scholarship at the prestigious journalism school at Northwestern University. The only requirement is that Sam write her benefactor regularly to tell him about her progress. Through their correspondence, Sam begins to find her voice ... but then things get complicated.
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This is the fourth installment of the Jane Austen Project, which invites contemporary authors to rework Jane Austen's novels for modern times, and my hands-down favorite. Sittenfeld is no Jane Austen, but she's okay with that: her snappy writing and spirit of playfulness make this such good fun for Jane Austen fans, if you're willing to go with it. (Think what 10 Things I Hate About You did with The Taming of the Shrew. Our modern tale is set in Cincinnati, where Lizzie is re-cast as an NYC-based magazine editor, Jane is a yoga instructor nearing 40, Darcy is a snooty brain surgeon, and Bingley is an ER doctor turned star of the reality show "Eligible," (which, in a running gag, all the characters watch but pretend not to). If you're revolted at the idea of on-screen sex in an Austen remake, or Darcy and Liz spewing profanity, this is NOT for you. The purists will need their smelling salts. Published April 19 2016.
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You all have been telling me to read this for YEARS, and last week I finally listened to the Audible version, which I quite enjoyed. I listened to this really fast because I wanted to find out what happens next.In this interesting twist on Pride and Prejudice, Ormiston imagines what might have happened had Elizabeth accepted Darcy's first proposal. This story focuses almost exclusively on the romance plot lines and is mostly dialogue, but I found it fun and entertaining, and—unlike so many other retellings—appreciated how Ormiston left the book's characters largely intact
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Like many devoted Austen fans, I approach most modern Jane Austen adaptations with a combination of enthusiasm and dread—I WANT it to be wonderful, but what if it's terrible? Readers, this new take on Sense and Sensibility was so much fun. In this novel, two broke adult sisters and their sweet little sister flee expensive San Francisco to set up a new tea shop in Austin, Texas. The bones of Austen's original are visible, but Lodge doesn't hew too closely to the original, to her credit. I spent a happy afternoon devouring this book.
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From the publisher: "They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters. A debut historical fantasy that recasts Jane Austen's beloved Pride & Prejudice in an imaginative world of wyverns, dragons, and the warriors who fight alongside them against the monsters that threaten the kingdom. Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine has already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when Lord Merybourne hires a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her home will soon be safe again. Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn't expect is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she's never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart."
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From the author of <a href="https://amzn.to/2JXrz9U" target="_blank" rel="nofollow" >American Street</a>, a P&P "remix" that envisions Darcy and Lizzie as two Brooklyn teens. First line: "It's a truth universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood, where it's a little bit broken and a little bit forgotten, the first thing they want to do is clean it up." Zuri Benitez is the second daughter of a large Haitian-Dominican family that has lived forever on their block in Bushwick. When Darius Darcy pulls up to the expensively renovated mini-mansion across the street in a blacked-out SUV, she immediately hates him and the gentrification he represents. But Austen fans know that's only the beginning of the story. Hot tip: Elizabeth Acevedo narrates the audiobook, and it is incredible. Whispersync narration available.
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