Booklist Reviews 2018 December #2
Alys Binat, the second of five daughters, is an independent, forward-thinking English teacher in Pakistan or, as Alys likes to call it, "[t]he home of the marriage-industrial complex." When the rich and handsome Bungles becomes smitten with Alys' older sister, her family eagerly awaits an advantageous proposal. The classic plot unfolds, but with rich descriptions of colorful, chiffon anarkalis instead of empire-waist gowns, chai and samosas instead of tea and scones. Kamal's adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is faithful, with scene-by-scene recreations that will inevitably cause the reader to picture Austen's original at the same time. Mrs. Binat beautifies her daughters with chickpea masks; Mari bores her sisters with Islamic preachings. That juxtaposition along with plenty of metareferential allusions are what makes this version so much fun. Even the most devoted Austenites will be surprised with how much they judge Darsee as arrogant in the beginning of the novel yet suddenly adore him in the end. This love letter to Austen reexamines sisterhood, society, and marriage in Pakistani culture and includes a fleshed-out epilogue that will satisfy today's readers. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2018 September #1
With the marital prospects of her five daughters not so bright, Mrs. Binat eagerly anticipates a big wedding in town where eligible bachelors might surface. Oldest daughter Jena gets lucky, but independent-minded Alys does not get on with aloof Valentine Darsee. Yes, it's Pride and Prejudice set in contemporary Pakistan, with Kamal following up her multi-prize-finalist debut, An Isolated Incident.
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
LJ Reviews 2018 November #1
Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan may seem like an unusual pairing to some, but the rich cultural backdrop only enhances and breathes new life into Jane Austen's classic. In this adaptation, the Binat family experiences a reversal of fortune, which lands them in the small town of Dilipabad. Alys, the second daughter of five, works as a teacher to supplement the family's income. She swears she'll never marry, but at a wedding festival, she meets Valentine Darcee, whose sensitivities hide behind his churlish veneer. Meanwhile, Mrs. Binat uses the wedding to parade her daughters in front of the rich bachelors in attendance, causing quite a stir. Kamal (An Unfortunate Incident) boldly embraces this treasured love story, creating a version solely her own. An Austen fan herself, the author remains faithful to the original story while giving readers insight into Pakistani culture in a modern retelling both enlightening and entertaining. The dialog sparkles with sharp humor, which will dazzle readers with counterparts of the original. VERDICT Austen devotees will rejoice in this respectful cross-cultural update of a beloved classic. [See Prepub Alert, 7/30/18.]—Julie Whiteley, Stephenville, TX
Copyright 2018 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2018 October #5
Kamal (An Isolated Incident) masterfully transports Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice from Regency England to modern-day Pakistan in this excellent retelling. Alys Binat, 30, and her sister, Jena, 32, are teachers at the British School of Dilipabad and are considered spinsters by the standards of their community and their obsessively matchmaking mother, who still grieves the loss of the Binats' wealthy lifestyle years ago after they were bilked by a family member. Upon receiving invitations to the wedding of a family friend, Mrs. Binat turns her considerable talents to preparing her five daughters to land rich husbands to secure their family's future. Enter the handsome, genial Fahad "Bungles" Bengla, who is instantly taken with Jena, and his best friend, the intense Valentine Darsee, who wastes little time offending Alys's pride and earning her scorn. What ensues is 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. (Jan.)
Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.