Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal – Thoughts

It is a universally acknowledged fact that Jane Austen has changed the lives of many readers and authors and her book adaptations are almost always a treat! 😉

Finally read this Pakistani adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic – Pride and Prejudice and quite enjoyed it!

Here is what I loved in this re-telling:

1. All the details about Pakistani culture, their way of living, the marriage ceremonies, the description of the clothes and oh gosh, to-die-for-mouthwatering dishes! That was also a major source of torment during this quarantine period, since I really wanted to go and order some seekh kababs or Haleem..sigh! I learned so much about their society and cultural values and realized that its similar to the Indian social values in so many aspects!

2. The fact that Jena and Alys are shown to be 30 year old, working and educated women, who are unmarried. Nice touch 🙂

3. Some of the character names tickled my funny bone so much! Like Looclus, Hammy , Sammy and Gin and Rum..rofl 😀

4. My favorite part of the book was reading a fiction-book that could almost be used as an English Literature reference book! I loved Aly’s style of teaching (hence my take on Jane Austen’s P&P’s opening sentence as a homework from her class ;)). I wish I had an English teacher like her who made me question all the social nuances from the book. I also loved all the book pairings that she and Darsee talk about, and all the book recommendations! Love books with book pairing options and book recommendations 🙂 Thanks Soniah Kamal for all that!

5. I enjoyed all the feminist arguments put forth by Alys regarding a woman’s choice on love, marriage, sex, having children and having a career.

Stuff that didn’t work for me as much:

1. Although I enjoyed the fact that this retelling was based in Pakistan, but I found the plot lacking in originality. The story was so similar to the original P&P (with the exception of the backstories of some supporting characters like Sherry Looclus and Nona), that I did skim read through some sections because I knew exactly what was going to happen, or what was happening. I had recently read another P&P adaptation written by another Muslim author – Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, which I liked more, in terms of the plot originality with similar characters and settings from Jane Austen’s P&P

2. I couldn’t buy into Darsee and Aly’s romance. Darsee’s confession of love and his proposal seemed strangely abrupt to me 🙂

What I’d like to know from other readers 🙂

So, there you go..I had fun reading this re-telling. I did wonder though, if there are some Indian adaptations of the famous P&P in literature? I’ve only watched Bride and Prejudice. Any recommendations there? 🙂

9 thoughts on “Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal – Thoughts

  1. Great review Prachi… !! I totally understand what you mean but I think I enjoyed this more because it was my first ever desi Austen retelling and I was too happy about it 😂😂
    Anyways, if you want an Indian American retelling of P&P, you should checkout Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev.

    I actually have a whole post from late last year on the blog about Jane Austen retellings (desi and others as well).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh!! Thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ll add it to my kindle☺️

      Will it be possible for you to link your post where you wrote about the different P&P retelling here please? I’d like to read them too🙂

      Also, have you read Ayesha at Last? I liked that more from the romance perspective

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Great thanks Sahi!! I liked unmarriageable a lot in terms of the focus on English literature and the dedication to Jane Austen. Just loved it. But yeah romance wise it could’ve been slightly better ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Completely agree.. I think I just loved Alys a lot and definitely her love for her job and the focus on literature. Hope you get to read some of the others from my list too 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. So I just read the P&P list and I’ve read two of them already. The Indian one you mentioned- when you say it’s a gender bent retelling, does that mean Darcy is a woman in that one?
        I have to check out eligible too☺️

        Liked by 1 person

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