another pride & prejudice retelling?
May 20, 2003 10:50 PM

[This, lovely readers, is Vacation Book Report #1]
Part of the lure of vacationing for me is the possibility of simultaneously engaging and disengaging both my mind and body. I exercise in some form for at least an hour each day, read a couple of really thought-provoking books, then lounge around doing nothing and reading fluff.

Sometimes, the fluff is really entertaining.

Case in point: Pride, Prejudice & Jasmin Field (Jasmin here is a person, not a place as I'd imagined). Plot of book: mildly successful British journalist is wackily cast as Lizzie Bennett in a stage remake of P&P, directed by wildly famous British actor guy. He, by a strange twist of casting mistakes and other hijinks, ends up playing Darcy. Life imitates art. All the other characters follow similarly. Wackiness ensues.

Okay, so it sounds like a much more direct, much less topical Bridget Jones. But it's effing hilarious - if, that is, you are like me and my best friend in your hopeless devotion to Colin Firth's bath scene in the BBC miniseries. If you're not. Well, you've missed out. Trust us.

The nice thing about this silly book is that it's not completely irritating apart from the romance and the whole thin P&P premise. Our heroine is a feminist who actually sounds like one and isn't just labeled so for the convenience of fitting in with the Cosmo set [I know I say anyone who believes in equality is a feminist, but do I really have to let those women play?]. Her family is filled with sympathetic characters that hint at complexity beneath the surface of this by nature very surface-level story.

In short, really quite good poolside reading. And - you can buy it in the embarassing "Chick Lit" section at the Target. If you want to buy books in a category that sounds like small candy-coated gum.

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