Pride transports the well known story of Pride and Prejudice to a Brooklyn neighbourhood overshadowed by the risk of gentrification. Zuri lives in an apartment with her four sisters, across the road from a newly refurbished “mini-mansion”. When the new family move in, they are excited by the presence of two hot boys.
Of course, the family across the street are the Darcys. Zuri (the Lizzie of this version) takes an instant dislike to Darius Darcy. He doesn’t act the way she thinks a boy in the ‘hood should act, and his distance and money come across as arrogance. Her older sister Janae (Jane) takes a shine to Ainsley Darcy though and neither of their siblings are happy about it.
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. But it’s not just the junky stuff they’ll get rid of. People can be thrown away too.
It’s incredibly close to the original plot, without feeling stale. Scenarios are tweaked to make them believable in the modern world. Instead of fearing homelessness due to their marital status, they are seeing their ‘hood being gentrified. Rents going up, families being pushed out. I appreciated the point at the end that they should make the place better, but better for themselves so they don’t have to “get out”. Earlier on it seemed liked Zuri was nostalgic for bad things but letter she clarifies that this is just what she knows.
The characters’ names are all slightly similar to the originals, helping you to place who’ll do what, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t know they story. Marisol is obsessed with money rather than God (Mary). Layla gets a slightly modernised version of Lydia’s personality and story-line, involving Warren (Mr Wickham). There’s even a Charlotte and Mr Collins!
I’m not so sure about making the Mr Bingley character Darius’ brother though. Isn’t it a bit weird for two sisters to be dating two brothers? I suppose there were not many relationship scenarios which would have allowed for them to be spending so much time together.
Elizabeth Acevedo’s narration makes a world of difference, I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed this book quite so much if I’d read it. She’s perfect for Zuri and reads her poetry beautifully.
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