Pride takes Jane Austen’s most popular novel “Pride and Prejudice” and places it in modern day Brooklyn. Instead of Elizabeth Bennett, we have Zuri Benitez. Zuri is a smart, no nonsense teenager with Afro-Latin roots. She has dreams of getting a college education, and doesn’t intend to let romance or boys get in her way. But when the wealthy Darcy brothers move into her “hood”, and her sister Janae starts to fall for one of them, Zuri’s pride and patience are put to the test.
I liked a lot about this story, especially as a fan of the original Pride and Prejudice. I particularly enjoyed that, for the most part, author Ibi Zoboi really made it her own. Rich descriptions of Haitian and Dominican culture play a prominent role in the novel, standing in stark contrast to Austen’s upper crust britishness. Zuri is a talented poet and her beautiful words gives a depth and individuality that make her stand out from other Lizzy Bennets we’ve seen or read before. Zoboi also includes themes of poverty, class, and neighborhood gentrification in her retelling, which set the story firmly in its modern day Brooklyn setting. I found all these elements very enjoyable, it really held onto the spirit of the original story, but in a way that was new, relevant and exciting. There were a few moments that felt clunky, where I felt the characters were only behaving a certain way because it was a retelling. But, ultimately, the heart and feel of P&P is in this love story without relying too much on specific plot points from the original.