Wednesday, May 6, 2020

59. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen's Children's Stories)

Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen and Gemma Barder. 2021. [February 2021] Sweet Cherry Publishing. 96 pages. [Source: Review copy] [Adaptations; Classic]

First sentence: Mrs Bennet was in a very good mood. She had just discovered that a rich man called Mr Bingley had rented the largest house in her neighbourhood. ‘Why should that be such good news for us?’ asked Mr Bennet. He was trying to read his newspaper and growing tired of his wife’s excitement.

Premise/plot: Who needs a plot summary of Pride and Prejudice?! No one really. For those that have seen the movie or read the book, it would be irrelevant. For those who haven't--why give any of the good bits away?! But I will say a few words about this SPECIAL adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Gemma Barder has written a chapter book adaptation of Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice. This chapter book even features illustrations. There are about fifteen chapters or so. This chapter book is no more condensed than most screen adaptations--in terms of plot. I would say it's more faithful than some adaptations. (I'm thinking in particular of the black and white adaptation which is a MESS if strictly considered in terms of faithfulness to the actual book.)

My thoughts: I definitely enjoyed this delightful book. It is an adaptation. Not all the words are Austen's original text. But some of the best bits--the most quotable bits--are very much present in this one. (For example, " ‘It is no good,’ Mr Darcy said at last. ‘My feelings cannot be denied. You must allow me to tell you how deeply I admire and love you.’ " and "My feelings and wishes are unchanged. However one word from you will silence me forever.’ ‘Oh, my feelings are very much changed,’ said Lizzy, laughing. ‘I believe they are the exact opposite to what they were.’ "

I loved it. I did. I think it's probably written for Austen devotees to share with their young daughters, nieces, granddaughters, etc. I'm not sure if children would choose to read this one on their own if Austen wasn't present in their homes in some way. Then again, maybe they would. Every child is different. And this sweet romance might prove satisfying for any age.

It is about 96 pages long. It has illustrations.

© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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