Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy form Author
TYPE OF AUSTENESQUE NOVEL: Modern Adaptation, Christian (Inspirational) Fiction
SETTING: A small liberal arts university in present-day Mississippi
SERIES: Jane Austen Takes the South
MAIN CHARACTERS: Shelby Roswell (a Civil War professor – Elizabeth), Ransom Fielding (a visiting professor and acclaimed Civil War historian – Darcy), Aunt Junetta (Mrs. Gardiner) David Bishop (Mr. Collins and Mr. Wickham rolled up in one lovely little package!), Tasha (Caroline Bingley), and Rebecca (Shelby’s Jane Austen lovin’ roommate)
WHY I WANTED TO READ THIS:
- Jane Austen in the South! I live in and love the south!
- I love modern-retellings of Jane Austen’s novels, and I especially love that this book is part of a series!
- Civil War re-enactments, antebellum mansions, good ol’ southern cooking – sounds fabulous!
WHAT I LOVED:
- A Visit to Academia: Several main characters work at a university in this novel. We see Shelby meet with students during her office hours and witness Shelby and her roommate go through the stressful ordeal of applying for tenure. Having loved my experience at college and still living in the town where I went to college, I was thrilled to be amongst professors, lecture halls, and all those departmental politics and dramas!
- A Clean, Southern Romance: Often, modern-day retellings of Jane Austen’s works come with modern-day language and modern-day sensibilities. I liked how this story was clean in content and language. And speaking of language, I’m real grateful that Ms. Hathaway didn’t give her characters clichéd, over-exaggerated southern dialects and accents!
- An Inspired Retelling: Drawing from some of the characters and events from Pride and Prejudice, Mary Jane Hathaway creates her own tale that doesn’t closely shadow Jane Austen’s plot. And integrated with her characters and their obstacles is an inspiring message about forgiveness and letting go of your anger and hurt.
- The Beautiful South: Following our heroine, Shelby, through the various places she visits was a real treat. I loved hearing about her parent’s historic old home, taking the country roads to Aunt Junetta’s picturesque house, and joining Ransom and Shelby as they visit a prominent plantation home. The descriptions of these homes and locales were so detailed and complete, that is was easy to see them materialize in my mind’s eye.
WHAT I WASN’T TOO FOND OF:
- More Ransom!: I would have loved to see Ransom receive more page time, to understand how his feelings for Shelby changed and developed (he was so against her romantically in the beginning!) Also, since he undergoes a transformation in faith, it would have been great to witness that change happen on page as well. Without it, his feelings for Shelby and his grief about his past felt like they underwent an abrupt change.
I went into this series with a high level of excitement and expectations – (it couldn’t be helped, this book was on my wish-list for over a year!) I’m thrilled to say that Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits was an extremely absorbing and entertaining read that definitely exceeded my expectations. It has a perfect balance of southern charm, sweet romance, and clever nods to our dear Jane!
Mary Jane has kindly offered some lovely treats for me to give away in conjunction with her visit and my review!! The three prizes include 2 autographed paperback sets of Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits and Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs and a lovely tote that says “I love Mr. Darcy.”
To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below!
- This giveaway is open worldwide!! Thank you, Mary Jane!
- This giveaway ends July 31st!
For another entry, leave a comment on my interview with Mary Jane Hathaway!!