Audio CD Review
I’m not a fan of Jane Austen, for no particular reason. As required reading in high school, I spent many hours analyzing her works. I was intrigued by Curtis Sittenfeld’s modern day spin on Pride and Prejudice purely from an analytical standpoint. I wanted to see how much of the story I remembered.
Listening to this novel while riding along in the car quickly became a daily obsession. Cassandra Campbell, the adept narrator, brings the story to life with her numerous character voices as well as her humorous take on the manuscript. With five larger-than-life sisters and a cast of unconventional supporting characters, I had to pay close attention for fear of getting lost amid the witty dialogue.
The story centers on Liz Bennet, a thirty-eight year old in search of her happily-ever-after, even though she doesn’t realize that’s what she wants or needs. The story is set in Cincinnati, a memorable place I lived in during my early twenties. Sittenfeld’s choice of backdrop perfectly pairs with her superbly written novel. It’s quite evident she has meticulously chosen each and every word in the novel for her rich vocabulary adds a “Jane Austen-ish” flair to it. I often reveled at her brilliant word choice from scene to scene.
Fitzwilliam Darcy is a snobby neurosurgeon who has a high opinion of himself and a condescending view of Liz, her family, and her beloved hometown of Cincinnati. It doesn’t take long for his unnerving charms to get under Liz’s skin. The inclusion of reality television in the plot, while albeit cheesy at times, does work well within the framework of the storyline. Before long, I found myself rooting for Liz and Darcy to get together despite their obvious differences.
Thirteen and a half hours flew by way too fast for this stellar audio book that captivated my mind and stole my heart. If only Sittenfeld could rewrite all of Jane Austen’s books. Then just maybe I could finally call myself a true Jane Austen fan.