Unmarriageable Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan by Soniah Kamal

This clever and witty Pakistani version of Pride and Prejudice by Soniah Kamal is great fun.

Like Pride and Prejudice, the story involves five sisters in a family down on its luck, but it concentrates on the two oldest sisters, Alys and Jenna. They are modern girls (although Alys is perhaps more modern) stuck in an old-fashioned world in which women are regarded as spinsters if they are single at 30.  They both teach at the BDS, a private school for girls, where Alys tries to convince the girls tthat there is more to life than marriage and children.

Mrs Binat, their mother, is determined to get the girls married, but she won't accept Abroads because their wives are unpaid servants or Absurdities, men from humble backgrounds. When the girls meet Mr Bumgles and his arrogant friend Valentine Darsee, Mrs Binat is overjoyed and thinks that there is a proposal in the offing. The girls have more twists and turns to face before they find true happiness, however. For example, Alys must fight off the attentions of the smarmy Kaleen, and choose between Wickhaam and Darsee.

Pride and Prejudice transfers very well to this exotic setting where good Muslim women are supposed to be virgins until they are married; there are huge wedding feasts; and class distinction and gossip are all-pervasive.  The main characters are very likeable, although some people might not approve of Alys smoking.

I was a bit puzzled when Mrs Binat prayed the rosary, but Muslims have a rosary as well as Catholics.

I received this free ebook from Net Galley in return for an honest review.



Popular Posts