Pride and Prejudice is a beloved and well read classic for a reason. Since it arrived in bookstores and libraries in 1813, many writers have tried to replicate the magic that gives Pride and Prejudice it’s standing. While many have tried, only a few have hit the mark.
In 2014, writer Mary Jane Hathaway threw her hat in the Austen-reboot sub-genre. One of the results is Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits, a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice set in the modern-day American South. Shelby Roswell is a history professor teaching at a small Southern college, her expertise is The Civil War. Recently publishing a book on the subject, she hopes that this book will lead to being tenured. That tenure is quickly derailed by Ransom Fielding, a historian whose review of Shelby’s book is far from complementary. Adding insult to injury, Ransom has agreed to take on the role of a visiting professor at the same college. After loosing his wife 6 years ago, he has buried his head in the sand when it comes to life and love. Then he meets Shelby and the sparks begin to fly.
Anyone who knows me or follows this blog knows that Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books. Jane Austen was a master in the art of writing. Some writers are fortunate enough to be able to reproduce her works successfully. While I enjoyed Ms. Hathaway’s modern take on Persuasion, I can’t say the same about her take on Pride and Prejudice. For a reader or an audience to be invested in a romance, they have to see the potential in the coupling of the lead characters, even if at some point in the narrative, the lead characters are not sure themselves. While the romance between Shelby and Ransom was on the page, as a reader I did not feel it.
Do I recommend it? Not really.