“It is 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.”
And so begins Pride, a modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice starrring all characters of colour, addressing issues of race and class and giving the Jane Austin classic a new lease of life.
The influence of the classic is clear from the start and throughout Pride: the group of sisters, the quiet father, the eligible bachelors moving into the area, and the mum intend on finding husbands for all her girls. The aloof Mr Darcy figure (Darius) and his chattier and more friendly Ainsley (the Mr Bingley) figure. Zuri is our delightful Elizabeth Bennett figure, a reader, a girl with her own opinions and attitude. Darius rubs her up the wrong way immediately, but of course, they’re destined for the romance of the original Elizabeth and Darcy.
Despite the obvious comparisons to Pride and Prejudice this is a book that really stands on it’s own. Zuri is a character who gets under your skin. She’s not afraid to defend herself, her family and their way of life. She doesn’t want some rich boy to come along and change her. She has plans. Pride also addresses race and class and looks closely at the culture of Zuri’s hood. Ibi writes so well about the neighbourhood and culture that you cannot help but feel part of Zuri’s life.
Pride is a brilliant and fresh perspective on an old classic and well worth the read.