BOOK REVIEW: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

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Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: January 22, 2019

Genre: Literary Fiction / Romance / Retellings

Goodreads Average: 3.86  *as of 1/22/19*

 

Goodreads Blurb:

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

My Thoughts:

Yesss you guys! I love a good Pride and Prejudice retelling, and Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal is one of the best ones I have read yet.

What it’s about: Set in modern day Pakistan, the Binat family has lost their good reputation and none of their 5 daughters are married yet. All of her sisters want to be married, but Alys (the second oldest) is a headstrong and forward thinking English teacher, and she is perfectly happy being single – much to the chagrin of her mother Pinkie. When the Binat family gets invited to one of the biggest, most prestigious weddings they have been invited to in some time, Pinkie Binat is determined to find rich men for her daughters at it. Her eldest Jena ends up meeting Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, while Alys finds herself being watched by Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee. But while Jena really likes Bungles, Alys and Darsee don’t exactly get off on the right foot. Drama and hilarity ensue as Pinkie puts even more pressure on Alys and Jena, and the family deals with the consequences.

The setting of Pakistan really brought this retelling to life. I loved the vibrant descriptions of the surroundings and people, and Alys was by far my favorite character. Kamal makes this book so easy to read, and I loved how funny it was. There is definitely a dysfunctional family at the core of this book, and one that I just couldn’t help but love. Due to the setting and the language, I wasn’t able to read this book too quickly, but I enjoyed every minute of it. It is fascinating to read about a different culture, and a great addition to this classic retelling.

You can tell Kamal is a very smart woman, and that comes across in her prose. I just think that this retelling is super smart, and plus I adore the cover!

Final Thought: If you love retelling’s of Pride and Prejudice, and want something a bit different from the others out there, I highly recommend Unmarriageable. This book is whip-smart, and I know a lot of people are going to love it as much as I did. And considering how gorgeous the cover is, it would be a beautiful edition to anyone’s library. This is a book I could definitely see myself rereading which is not something that happens often. I will definitely have to add it to my collection!

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an advance review copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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