“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.” -Jane Austen
The book opens with a beautiful Foreward by Caroline Jane Knight followed by seven wonderful short stories. Every story is unique and encompasses the basic elements of Austen’s work in modern day Pakistan. It includes women’s take on love, life and happiness.
Since every story is written by a different author, there was a twist in narrative and voices. Set up in different cities of Pakistan, every culture and detail was carefully and effortlessly written to capture the nature of the story as an anthology all the while giving it a modern twist. The writing style is brilliant and included emotions and humor. It kept me glued to the book and entertained till the very last page.
“And so to his utter disbelief, and slightly to hers, she calls off their splashy wedding and goes sailing into the sunset, solo.”
–Laleen Sukhera (On the Verge)
It was wonderful to follow the lives of the characters, which were realistic and relatable. Giving us an insight to the modern day world, the challenges faced by women in the 21st century, these stories were like a breath of fresh air. The stories never lose their charm, it grips you right from the start and leaves you craving for more. They are fact paced, do not indulge in unnecessary details and I was glad to finish it in one sitting. They all include interesting concepts of friendships, love, marriage, expectations of people, society aunties, etc.
Every story is a tribute to different Jane Austen books like Pride and Prejudice, Emma, Lady Susan, etc. I haven’t read all of Austen’s books but these stories have encouraged to pick them all. I smiled throughout this book and I wanted that feeling to last forever.
To all the Jane Austen fans, I could understand your inhibitions to picking up an anthology of this sort, but this book won’t disappoint you. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Even if you are not a Classics reader, you’ll love this book and it’ll make you want to read Austen’s work.
Title : Austenistan
Author : Laleen Sukhera
Publisher : Bloomsbury India
Language : English
Pages : 174
Rating : 4/5
Disclaimer: Thanks to Bloomsbury India for a copy. All opinions are my own.