A Modern Retelling of a Jane Austen Classic
Pride and Protest by Nikki Payne is a vibrant retelling of Pride and Prejudice
I’m always in the mood for a modern rom-com and Pride and Protest hits the spot. Yes, I am equally a fan of all things Jane Austen (books, movies, puzzles…you name it) so that added to my overall enjoyment of Nikki Payne’s debut novel and retelling.
Liza B., a DJ, is protesting the company attempting to gentrify her Washington D.C. neighborhood with overpriced condos. Sparks start to fly at the opening gala event when Liza mistakes the property company’s CEO, Dorsey Fitzgerald, for the wait staff. And so begins this fresh and diverse take on the enemies-to-lovers trope.
Both of the lead characters in Pride and Protest are struggling with their sense of self…who they want to be vs what they are expected to be. Dorsey is an adoptee from the Philippines who strives to live up to his prominent family’s reputation while Liza is managing a (sometimes tense) mother-daughter relationship with Bev. It’s exciting to see how this love story unfolds and how the couple overcomes the challenges of class and culture.
Payne manages to breathe new life and modernity into not only a story we well know, but to the characters we love (and love to despise) – the Bennetts, the Bingleys, the Darcys, Wickham, Collins, Charlotte, and the lot.
This rom-com delivered the romance and the comedy…with a splash of spice! I would definitely recommend to fans of Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola, and I am anxiously awaiting Payne’s next retelling of Sense & Sensibility.
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What others are saying about Pride and Protest:
“A spectacular, unputdownable debut that just rocketed its way onto my ‘Forever Faves’ shelf. The sharpest, sexiest, wittiest, brightest Pride and Prejudice retelling I’ve ever read, period. Nikki Payne is the writer I aspire to be, and I’m going to recommend this novel to everyone I know, every chance I get!”– Ali Hazelwood, New York Times bestselling author of Love on the Brain
“An entertaining and politically charged retelling of Pride and Prejudice that tackles gentrification, prejudice, and the intersections of race, class, and gender…The redevelopment plot puts a fresh twist on familiar beats and the enemies-to-lovers romance sizzles. This is good fun.”– Publishers Weekly
“Payne has managed what I thought was no longer possible: to write a Pride and Prejudice retelling that feels completely fresh and yet absolutely grounded in Jane Austen’s beloved romance…Liza and Dorsey’s romance comes with the sizzling animosity we expect from this classic enemies-to-lovers storyline while deftly tackling heavy themes like generational trauma and classism with humor and heart. This debut is incandescent.”– The Washington Post
“This new imagining of Pride and Prejudice is an inventive take on a classic love story.”– BuzzFeed Books
About the Author
By day, Nichole Carelock, is a curious anthropologist, asking the right questions to deliver better government. By night, she’s Nikki Payne, dreaming of ways to subvert canon literature. She works at Facebook as a qualitative researcher and has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology.
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