A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Did We Read the Same Book?

on April 23, 2022

I just finished The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams, which was very sweet and touching. The way the books I knew were discussed in the story kind of threw me at times, though, especially Pride and Prejudice. It reminded me of what Alexis Hall has been writing about in his blog lately: “the 1995 adaptation really doubled down on Pride and Prejudice as primarily a romance and that’s kind of what it’s been (and to an extent what Austen’s been) ever since.”

If it were just one character, it could be considered an individual response, but it’s so universal throughout, I got the feeling that Adams doesn’t much like P&P herself and certainly doesn’t know it very well.

Various quotes:

“So, Mr. Darcy, he likes Elizabeth Bennet, and she clearly likes him, but she spends most of her time being rude to him and vice versa.”


“From the first moment you meet Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth, you know that they’re meant to be together. The rest of the book is just the author trying to keep them apart for our entertainment.”


“Isn’t it basically nineteenth-century smut?” Vritti laughed, sitting down at the table.

Mukesh’s face blanched. “Smut? Really? I am only a quarter of the way through. I haven’t seen smut yet.”

“Just you wait,” Vritti winked.

I suppose, since this is a religious family, this could referring to Lydia having sex outside of marriage? But it’s never addressed again and we have no idea how Mukesh felt about it when he got there. So, mostly No.

“Bossy Mrs. Bennet wants to marry her daughters off to rich men. But one of her daughters, Elizabeth Bennet, she wants to marry for love, not money,” he explained to Priya.

Okay, he’s talking to his young granddaughter, so maybe we’ll let that one pass.

Aleisha couldn’t tell if she was hungry or her stomach was actually doing somersaults. Elizabeth Bennet and her standoffishness would not be impressed with her.


Mukesh could see all the characters he’d met along the way. There was Pi and his terrifying tiger, very out of place. Elizabeth Bennet, still playing hard to get, with Darcy a few steps behind.


2 responses to “Did We Read the Same Book?

  1. Faranae says:

    What? WHAT? I’m not much for Jane Austen, but this is just plain wrong! Adams must have based it all on one of the films, because that’s not the book. And even if one wishes to class P&P as romance (no), it’s certainly not smut. Leave that to the actual 18th and 19th century smut. Readers in 1813 probably would just go find a bootleg copy of Fanny Hill, and that would even have pictures!

  2. willaful says:

    Since she clearly loves books, I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt and assuming she read it a long time ago and it didn’t leave much of an impression.

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