Along my bookshelf, the possibility of seeing a classical book is actually really slim. About the only things I have are Little Women, a bunch of fairy tales, and a couple of somewhat old lesbian books. But the classics, like Melville and Pride and Prejudice are not something you’d find in my stuff, mostly because when I tried or had to read them around college, I nearly stabbed my eyes out so I wouldn’t have to read them. This isn’t to say that classics like those aren’t brilliant books, in fact I can recognize a lot of great things from them in other stuff, but the way books were written over even thirty years ago is vastly different from the majority of books written today.
That said, I will admit I enjoyed reading Gay Pride and Prejudice by Kate Christie (and Jane Austen) way more than I could say for Pride and Prejudice and I can point out exactly why. The whole reason I kept hanging on to getting through this book was because of the lesbian tones that Kate had weaved into the book, which particularly focus around Lizzie and Caroline. The original story, I managed to get through the first couple chapters before I gave up on it, because I’m a reader from the age of movies, to where if you don’t grasp me in the first chapter chances are I am not going to hang on very long to finish the book.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t know what happens in the normal Pride and Prejudice though, I actually know it quite well since I enjoyed watching things like ‘Lost in Austen’ and even ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’. So I wasn’t going into this book totally blind in what was changed, in fact I could recognize a lot of the changes, such as the father of the Bennet girls inner monologues quite a bit about his own tendencies toward men, and that he only hopes his favorite daughter Lizzie, with her preference to her own sex can find some kind of same happiness too. And this is just one of the many things that changed for this book and really what made this book shine to me.
So, for consistency sake, I think I do need to talk about what the plot is, as I’m sure there are others out there who don’t know the whole plot of Pride and Prejudice either. The story still focuses on the daughters of Mr Bennet, with most of it being directed around Lizzie and Jane, the two eldest daughters. The whole story starts with a new man moving into town though, Bingley, which sparks the events and introduces Jane to Bingley and Lizzie to Darcy… or in this case… to Darcy and Bingley’s sister: Caroline.
Much like any romance specific story, Lizzie is at first revolted or turned away from Caroline, much in the same way she was Darcy, in fact, the author did an amazing job with realizing that a lot of the same reasons she doesn’t like Darcy in the normal book, could be said for Caroline too. And really this whole book shines because of how well the author was able to interweave the gay elements into a story that wasn’t even remotely gay and in different ways too. Charlotte and Lizzie weren’t just childhood friends they were also the first lovers for each other, but they also had drastically different views for their futures. The whole reason the Bingley’s had moved to the area where the Bennet’s were? Because Caroline was found out by the husband of a woman she was having an affair with so they left.
Really, I think the whole reason I loved reading this, was because it was essentially well crafted fan fiction, using non-gay characters and making them gay. So, for the story I don’t want to give away a lot, because the whole reason I kept sticking around was because I wanted to know HOW Caroline and Lizzie would end up together facing a society that doesn’t condone such a thing at all. And while the ending was technically expected, it was only to a degree that I had expected it. So there’s a bit of a few twists in the end that I found all the more interesting in terms of diversity, since I was thinking of the Bingley’s and Charlotte as Asian and a few characters as black, thanks to the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Overall, I have to say the story was decent, at least the areas that Kate Christie had manipulated. They were fun and kept me actually yelling at my kindle at one point as to why Lizzie and Caroline didn’t kiss. (Don’t worry it’s resolved later). But when it comes down to it, if you didn’t enjoy reading Pride and Prejudice then you probably aren’t going to like this one either, unless you can pretty much read anything lesbian, then the gay plots will probably pull you through it. In the same vein, if you loved Pride and Prejudice but don’t much care for gay romance plots, then it’s again something you’d want to avoid. But how could you not love gay romance plots?!
Either way, it was a fun read that unfortunately took me forever to get through, though that may not be the case with everyone and at least it wasn’t Gay Moby Dick… I don’t think I could have taken that.