Let me start by saying that I love Jane Austen novels, and I especially love Pride and Prejudice. I love that book so much that I will read any remix of the novel, and I have read several. This has to be by far my favorite to date.
First of all, I think I may have found a Mr. Darcy who is better than, or at least as good as, Colin Firth. And I don’t say that lightly because any P&P fan knows that Colin Firth is the best Darcy, at least in the original. But the man cooks orgasmically good food and is delicious to look at too. I’m going to need somebody just hurry up and make this book into a movie. Idris Elba needs to play DJ (aka Darcy James). And in my head I have already cast Priyanka Chopra as his foil – Dr. Trisha Raje.
So the plot twist in this retelling is that Darcy is more of the Elizabeth Bennet character (poor family, prejudiced against the prideful Dr. Raje). Dr. Trisha Raje is more of the Darcy character (snobbish, filthy rich, privileged). Other than that, the story more or less plays out the same as you would expect. Except that the Raje’s are Indian immigrants (the mom is a former Bollywood star!!!!) And Darcy and his sister Emma are British – a mix of Anglo-Indian and Rwandan. DJ is a rising star of a chef who has been hired to cook for the Raje’s events surrounding the eldest son’s (Yash) run for the governorship of California. DJ’s sister is terminally ill, but Dr. Raje is the only doctor who has figured out a way to save her life (with some complications). Emma is a badass artist who paints mostly vaginas doing things like opening beer bottles.
In this retelling Dev explores issues of assimilation, what it means to be an immigrant/American, race, Black Lives Matter, culture, gender, feminism, the patriarchy and food! The Raje’s are a wealthy family heralding from Indian royalty who have emigrated to California, where their children grew up. The patriarch has political aspirations for the family and Yash, the eldest son, is running for governor.
All of these differences is what I think makes the book so interesting and fun. Unlike some other re-tells of the story that strips the characters of their, well, character, this one remains true to Austen’s original. The gender switch just makes it that much more interesting. Plus, Indian food. I give this a “must read” rating for any P&P fan.