Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite books, one of the few that I re-read. Loving it so much, I’ve been tempted into reading a couple of variants/sequels which inevitably were disappointing – well, they were just not Austen. So, Kate Christie’s approach, of leaving as much of the original text as possible and embellishing it, I think a brilliant one.
Here’s the famous first paragraph, with Kate’s twist:
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife – even if he does not particularly desire female companionship.
Pride and Prejudice has been rewritten with a skilled and very light touch. Some of the text needs only the slightest change to support the new version of events. It is Caroline Bingley who finds Elizabeth only “tolerable”, and again Caroline who later dwells on Elizabeth’s fine eyes. Some needs no change at all: Charlotte Lucas for example, never thinks “highly either of men or matrimony”.
But then the more substantial passages that have been added are also well written and I found the imitation of Austen’s style convincing.
The extent of the queering of the story was just right for me. I thought the right characters were outed and the right couples left as straight. It made fascinating and entertaining reading, waiting for the next queer turn, spotting subtext in the original writing and reading Kate’s additions.
It has a clever and satisfying conclusion and I found this a thoroughly enjoyable twist on a favourite book of mine.
I gave Gay Pride and Prejudice 5 stars.