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Publisher's Summary

"This inventive retelling of Pride and Prejudice charms." (People)

Alys Binat has sworn never to marry - until an encounter with one Mr. Darsee at a wedding makes her reconsider.

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more. 

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’ lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful - and single - entrepreneur. 

But Bungles’ friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal - and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

Praise for Unmarriageable:

“Thoroughly charming.” (New York Post)

“[A] funny, sometimes romantic, often thought-provoking glimpse into Pakistani culture, one which adroitly illustrates the double standards women face when navigating sex, love, and marriage. This is a must-read for devout Austenites.” (Publishers Weekly)

©2019 Soniah Kamal (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“This inventive retelling of Pride and Prejudice charms.” (People)

“As with Austen, whose books could be read as fun and simple romances or acerbic examinations of class and women's choices (and lack thereof), Kamal's Unmarriageable succeeds in being both a deliciously readable romantic comedy and a commentary on class in post-colonial, post-partition Pakistan, where the effects of the British Empire still reverberate.... Both a fun, page-turning romp and a thought-provoking look at the class-obsessed strata of Pakistani society.” (NPR) 

"Distinctly entertaining.... Kamal uses her comedy of manners, infused with tender humor, to comment on the sorry state of affairs for too many young women from this part of the Indian subcontinent.... If Jane Austen lived in modern-day Pakistan, this is the version of Pride and Prejudice she might have written.” (Shelf Awareness, starred review) 

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What listeners say about Unmarriageable

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P&P with a "Citizen of the World" perspective

Since I've lived in both the East and the West and since I'm an ardent Janeite, I found so much to love about this book. The author delivers a thoughtfully feminist interpretation of Pride and Prejudice in the context of a culture more Victorian than Victorian England. She also celebrates the bravery and skill it takes to live anywhere and adapt successfully. It's fun to make notice where she deviates away from the original plot to render the story more contemporary and consistent with modern life. It was also fun to note the slight variation in accents in characters with different socio-economic situations. I wanted to listen in one fell swoop!

4 people found this helpful

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Author as narrator -Perfectly excellent

I rarely write reviews but, I must call attention to the narration of this lovely little novel narrated by the writer. It is absolutely perfect. Soniah Kamel has an elegant, satisfyingly feminine voice (without being girlish) and the ability to capture every nuance, every emotions of the characters she writes about. I rarely like a narrator on first listen, though I often get accustomed and forget about any inadequacies, but Kamel's narration is so wonderful I just want to listen to her all day.

3 people found this helpful

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Could be entertaining if not for unlikable heroine

It started really well and I was very excited to learn about Pakistani culture and new setting seemed to have fit perfectly. Yet, by the middle of the book I came to dislike Alys ("Lizzy") more and more for her being not witty and charming, but rude and disrespectful. By the time she calls "Darcy" "It" ("It has a sense of humor") and others laughed, I was ready to take sides of those characters in the book that thought negatively of her. I could not help but stopped listening in anger when Alys showered Darcy with insults after his proposal. I saw no reason for him to even like her! And there he was meekly listing their similarities. There I stopped and going to return the book.

5 people found this helpful

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A delightful retelling of a classic!

Once I got past the title, I was able to thoroughly enjoy this book for its humor, humanity and perspective of women and the role of marriage. It is relatable to women everywhere from Dilapibad to San Francisco to Tokyo because the theme is so universal. The characters are richly developed with all their quirks and flaws in full view. Once you start, you won't want to put ot down. I look forward to the movie!

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Delightful and Unexpected

I am a card carrying member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. My opinions on Austen have been featured in many publications. I’ve hosted multiple Jane Austen retreats and even an online conference with speakers and Austen scholars from around the world. So, you could say I’m a fan. As many times as I’ve read Pride and Prejudice, this parallel retelling surprised and delighted me. It was fresh, funny, poignant, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable. Even if you are not a fan of Austen, you’ll like this book. I loved the delicious descriptions of beautiful people, clothing, food and art. The author paints a picture with words so vivid it will stay with you long after you’re done with the book. Soniah Kamal does an absolutely superb job narrating. It’s hard to believe she is the author because she’s such a captivating and entertaining actor! This Janeite highly recommends Unmarriageable. You’re welcome.

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Loved this adaptation

This was a great read. I picked the book up hoping to be educated, entertained, and maybe challenged, too. I think Kamal delivered. I learned something about a culture I knew nothing about. I was as entertained by Kamal’s adaptation as by the original - maybe moreso. I was challenged by my own prides and prejudices and reminded to view people as a complex beings who do and say things for a variety of reasons, most of which I will never know or understand.

Kamal’s performance made the characters come alive. I was immersed!

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Outstanding version of Pride and Prejudice

I enjoyed everything about this book including the narration. It’s always interesting to imagine this classic story set in another culture besides Britain. No matter where the tale is set ,the characters have the same real life issues ,as we do today across the entire world.
I especially liked the humour in such a well written intelligent adaptation. I feel it celebrated the hopes and dreams of all women..
I will definitely recommend this book and look forward to reading and listening to more from Soniah Kamal.
I truly feel it deserves more than five stars.

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Unputdownable

I loved this story, Austen would be proud to read this version of one of greatest work. I listed to the audio version and the author has narrated the story with great emotion. Would recommend this book to any one who loves Pride and Prejudice. I bought the hard copy of the book so I can reread it :)

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Inane

This book was so inane that I couldn't finish it. It was recommended by my book club - guess I'll miss that meeting. I rarely leave a book unfinished, but I got 1/3 of the way into this but the lack of any discernible plot in addition to the pettiness of the characters just got to me.

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Easy and light

Easy and light listening, but it gave me great insight into another culture. I loved it