Polite Society by Mahesh Rao
My rating: 3.25 of 5 stars
As a lover of Jane Austen, I've enjoyed a number of retellings including Gurinder Chadha's 2004 Bollywood spectacular "Bride and Prejudice." So I was intrigued by this recasting of Emma, probably my least favorite Austen novel, set in the era of social media. With the dilettante Ania as the ill-fated matchmaking protagonist (anti-heroine?), Rao has managed to capture all of the self-importance and narcissism-lite qualities of the original Emma while giving us interesting secondary characters like Dimple (Harriet), Dev (Mr. Knightley), Fahim (Mr Elton) and Ankim (Mr. Martin). I found the early portions, just as with its inspiration Emma to be less engaging, but as Ania begins to have it all go wrong and gain a bit of insight, her story becomes more palatable.
I finished by listening to the engaging and well-narrated audiobook.
This is the first work of Rao's I've read it's left me curious to see what his original work is like.
I received a Digital Review Copy and paper review copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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