Pride and Prejudice and Passports: A Modern Retelling

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

Pride and Prejudice is a book I simply adore so when I found this modern retelling I was so excited and barely after starting to read it I was remembering how much love I have for these characters (I even started another The Lizzie Bennet Diaries marathon just after) but sadly, for Pride and Prejudice and Passports, I couldn't find the same love. 

Most of the time I really love retellings, seeing the twists they bring to the original story in a new setting, and while I enjoyed reading this story, I feel like I already knew the story, which I did, it's the tricky thing with retellings, but I didn't find anything new to the old story. And I know it was an important part of the plot, but there was really too many politics involved for me, I didn't expect that much. Also everything seemed to happen so fast?? Quick read inside and out.

Despite this, I still enjoyed my reading, diving into the Elizabeth (or Elisa in this book) and Darcy feelings once again, and at my greatest joy, a lot more of Gigi than the original version (seriously, she was the best part of the book and I'm so glad she had a bigger part this girl deserves her own story, her own book).
Was this review helpful?
I wanted so badly to love this book as I do love all things related to Jane Austen and Pride and Prejudice. I've read so many remakes of the brilliant book and was excited to see a modern retelling. Unfortunately, this book was filled with stereotypes of Latinx folks and I felt like the author did not have a true understanding and grasp of what it means to be Latinx, a DACA dreamer, and working class poor. The characters were all surface and lacked depth... as did the setting. The story line jumped around too much and was unrelateable. 
I do not believe this book did justice to the original Pride and Prejudice and, unfortunately, will not be recommending it to others.
Was this review helpful?
I’ve read some modern re-tellings of classics that have just fallen flat. Sometimes classics are named classics because they are indeed just that: stories that transcend time. They shape our culture and understanding of the past. They also help us shape our future and in particular the way authors and readers write and engage with novels. I felt a bit skeptical about Corrie Garrett’s novel because I wasn’t sure how it could work. Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice, published in 1813, has also never been a favorite of mine. In fact, I am not a huge Austen fan in general. I do, however, love Elizabeth Gaskell and George Eliot.

There are aspects of Garrett’s novel that are truly innovative and I do believe these innovations make the story of Austen’s novel accessible to a younger contemporary audience. It is set in 2016 in Southern California. It is a time in history that I believe many people will be talking about for decades to come, the U.S. election that saw Donald Trump come to power as U.S. president. In this time there are three Mexican sisters (some of the family is undocumented) who end up crossing paths with political royalty so to speak.

The love story of Darcy and Elisa mimics that of Austen’s original novel. At times, I felt the characterization was a little bit forced, but then also reading over Austen’s original novel I actually felt the same way about her writing. Darcy is one of the most annoying love interests I have read in a novel. I am infuriated every time by his actions whether it is in Garrett’s retelling or Austen’s original. Who knows though, maybe that was Austen’s point all along? But what I find even more infuriating is that many readers love Darcy’s character to the point where they say he is their literary fantasy boyfriend!

Tied up in this tempestuous love affair are the discussions of immigration, conservative politics, and Trump. From the beginning of the novel Darcy and Elisa identity as politically conservative. Yet their conservatism does not exactly meet eye to eye. Elisa’s parents and one of her sisters are undocumented immigrants in U.S. The family overstayed their visa and are now under the DACA program. A program that helps undocumented people, in particular children, to have a legal and safe path to permanent residency and/or citizenship in the United States. Elisa is concerned that if Trump is elected the DACA program will be revoked and her family will be at risk of deportation. Elisa struggles with standing up for her family and other Latinx people in the U.S. and falling into the trap of the model immigrant: someone who doesn’t step out of line or say the wrong thing.

Talking about immigration is hard. People are often unwilling to see different sides to stories or show compassion for the people hurt by immigration policies. Immigration has always been a concern for me because I am immigrant myself living in Switzerland and my partner has a South American passport meaning we have a mixed cultural/passport marriage. The misconceptions around the world from the general population have about how ‘easy’ it is to emigrate are sometimes laughable. And governments often do not correct these misconceptions because it makes it easier for them to create even more damaging and hardline policies surrounding immigration. Immigration is extremely tough and honestly, people need to show more compassion. Until you have given up your culture, language, lifestyle, climate, food, family, and friends you might want to just sit down and listen.

Garrett’s novel tries to show how undocumented immigrants feel about being undocumented along with the fears they have about their safety and security in the U.S. On the other side, she also shows people who are less understanding and who buy into the negative stereotypes about immigrants. In this regard, her discussions are balanced, but at times I felt a bit too safe.

Moreover, the discussions about Trump were also too safe. Trump’s mistreatment of women and sexual harassment history were completely overlooked in the novel. I know it is difficult to bring up sexual assault and misogyny as it probably means the novel has to be extended and the storyline has to be adapted to it, yet I felt this omission made it look like the characters of the novel were living under a rock. I don’t live in the U.S. and I was still aware of those allegations.

To be honest, I feel this book would be great to study for high school students and I think it could be a great starting point for people to have discussions about immigration. However, in order to do it correctly, I think the novel should be supplemented with other immigrant stories and a history of the United State’s immigration policies and attitudes towards immigrants.

I can see this novel sparking great book club discussions, but it also has the potential to be volatile based on the content. However, if you are brave readers then this can be a great thought provoking novel. What classic retellings do you love? As always, share the reading love.

Note: this novel was accessed through Netgalley for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
This was a fun quick read! Elisa has returned home to help her family for the summer when she meets two vacationers. One of them is so infuriating that just being around him drives Elisa mad. She ends up being drawn to him and it is fate from there. A re-telling of Pride and Prejudice this is a fun quick summer read for anyone!
Was this review helpful?
All the classic P&P elements are here.
It's 2016, and Elisa Benitez (Elizabeth Bennet) and her family are concerned about the upcoming Presidential election and its feared effect on U.S. immigration policies if Donald Trump wins. Elisa's parents are illegal aliens. She and her younger sister Letitia (Lydia) were born in the U.S., so they're anchor babies, but her older sister Noa (Jane) came from Mexico with their parents and is in the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. Ben Leigh (Charles Bingley) is a California state representative, a true people-person, and Darcy is his friend, an influential Republican who works for politicians behind the scenes. 
While helping their parents out with the family cleaning service, Elisa and Noa meet Ben, his sister Caroline, and Darcy, who are renting a lakeside cabin for a vacation getaway. (Elisa is actually a college student working towards her masters degree in kinesiology/fitness training.) As one would expect in a P&P story, Ben is immediately attracted to Noa, and Elisa overhears Darcy making a derogatory comment. The story takes off from there.
Was this review helpful?
A great modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice! It was actually fun to read (I devoured it in 2 days) and I was happily surprised by how some of the classic P&P plot points were interpreted and retold. As a proud latina, it made me happy to see a latina leading lady! 

Set in 2016, before/after Trump gets elected, its highly steeped into American politics (with illegal immigrants and DACA at the centre of it). It got a bit tedious at some point as it would sometimes go into a bit too much details. And sometimes the way the characters expressed their political opinions were balanced but felt false at times, as to me that's not really how people speak. 

Generally a fun read! (except for those who don't want to relive/read about the 2016 politics)
Was this review helpful?
I'm a complete sucker for Pride & Prejudice retellings. I love the original characters so much that it's usually easy for me to look past a lackluster plot. But I'm not going to lie.. I had to force myself to keep reading this book. (Even with a great Darcy!)
The characters were all there along with the charm the original has.. But I think this book tried to do too much in a short amount of time that it wasn't completely believable. I appreciated the politics in this retelling but it just wasn't for me.
Was this review helpful?
Gotta read all the Pride and Prejudice retellings. What I liked - paralleled the story very well. Lots of creative ways she chose to tell many parts of the story. I also liked that we got some of it from Darcy’s perspective. What I didn’t like - it was heavily based around politics and was very realistic with what happened during the Trump elections.  I just don’t want to hear about him and the political drama when I’m reading a book.
Was this review helpful?
While I appreciated the modern, diverse take on a traditional tale, as someone of mexican decent I couldn't help but cringing through this book. There were too many cliches for me and I think this attempt would have been best left alone.
Was this review helpful?
This is a very clever retelling of P&P, and it is also an enjoyable read. It definitely works to adapt the story in the way Garrett did: the Bennet sisters as members of a mixed-status Latinx family, Darcy as a Republican political consultant, and the Bingley character as a politician who's advised by Darcy to keep his career in mind. This is a very readable story, and Garrett does a good job of educating readers about U.S. immigration policies and DACA. I'm a little conflicted about how I feel about the Latinx perspective being portrayed by a non-Latinx author, although I also think that authors are (rightly and of necessity) imagining characters and situations outside their experience all the time. Overall, I'd definitely recommend reading this novel.
Was this review helpful?
Hero-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Heroine-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Storytelling-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Character development-⭐⭐⭐⭐
Romance-⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Swoon factor- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I will always be greatful to netgalley and the publishers who gave me an oppurtunity to read this wonderful book. 
Let me start by saying this...."It is a truth universally acknoledged that whenever a jane austen novel will be adapted i will  abosolutely be in want of it".... Haha..jokes aside it was a wonderful book no doubt about that. It was my first corrie garrett book and that too was a pride and prejudice adaptation. I was really excited for it and it did not dissappoint. It was a wonderful book. It starts with our main characters elisa ,her sister noa along with their mother preparing the cabin for their paying guests ,US representative  Ben and his sister Caroline. What elisa wasn't ready for was the gorgeous and rich and broody Darcy. They were at total disagreement with each other in the begining and so they both created a boderline hostile environment for each other whenever they were in the same room. I know..romantic right?😂.

In a true p&p manner Ben and Noa became close with Ben being simply lovestruck by Noa and thus Darcy and Elisa had to endure each others company. But Noa is an illegal immigrant living in US and Ben is a representative and when it was revealed to Ben by Noa's mom , he completely misunderstood the situation and broke all ties with her, leaving her utterly devastated. 
What follows is a journey for both Elisa,Darcy, Darcy's famous sister Gigi, the wicked wick ,Illegal immigrant Noa, utterly charming Ben ,crazy for Darcy caroline and the whole p&p characters.   This story has is not only a p&p modern adaptation but it also throws light on the ocassion of Trump's presidency and its immediate effect on the immigrants and their future in the great nation. I can't rant about it enough. I loved it from start to finish and enjoyed every second of it. 
Everything, from the storyline to writing style to characters and context ,was perfect from start to finish. I have to say that it was different from all the other pride and prejudice adaptations and had a lot new meaning to it. And who does not love darcy and elizabeth togather ? Ohh and our modern day elizabeth was a true feminist who participates in protest rallies,states her political opinions with darcy and also supports herself through college as a part time fitness trainer. A true heroine to look up on.


I loved this book and would definately recommend others reading it.
Was this review helpful?
As you can tell from the title, this is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I am a massive Jane Austen fan, and Pride and Prejudice is my favourite Austen novel, so I approached Garrett's retelling with some trepidation. Which I was correct to do.

All of the plot elements are there (which were fun to identify) but jammed into a modern interpretation combining immigration issues, the race for the US presidency between Trump and Clinton and other 'hot topics'. The plot was driven by these issues and was (mostly) unbelievable. The number of coincidences required to make modern-day Elisa and Darcy meet up, hate each other, fall in love, experience blockers to their relationship, and finally get together (along with the sibling sub-plots) just didn't work for me. 

Not for me.
Was this review helpful?
I haven't read the original, Pride and Prejudice, because it intimidates me. LOL! So I opt to read modern retelling such as this. I enjoyed reading the story about Elisa and Darcy. It speaks about immigration, aliens, and politics. Although I had struggled on the writing style used, since it was told on a third-person's perspective, it was kind of confusing in the middle. First five chapters were easy to follow because each chapter focused on the main character, (example: the first chapter focuses on Elisa's story, while next chapter is Darcy's, they alternate) but in the middle, it was kinda hard to follow.
Was this review helpful?
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️! 
Oh what a pleasant surprise this was! Those of you that know me know that I love me some JAFF! I’ve been reading it for about 3 years and this one was really special to me because I’m from California and I could identify with everything going on. And I also love DC. The modernization of this story was brilliant. I loved it! 
It really worked for me the author set up the story with all the main characters of P&P. The angst and romance was wonderful and these two might be my favorites of JAFF.... If you haven’t had the chance to read this yet then let me just say that it’s worth the read. 
Happy Reading! ❤️

This was a NETGALLEY gift and all opinions are my own!
Was this review helpful?
I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This book felt like a retelling of Bridget Jone´s diary, but that is a Pride and Prejudice retelling so it makes a lot of sense. I loved the characters in this story, even I did not always agree with all of them on their actions I do feel that they were well written and full of personality.
This story follows Elisa and Darcy, who come from two different social backgrounds but they colide once Darcy spends a week on a cabin where Elisa´s family work.
The book is set up during US presidencial Elections where Trump is one of the candidates. He has an strong policy against inmigrants, which will be the main topic here. Darcy is a political advisor and his company is deciding where to send the support and which candidates to back up, and of course, Trump is between the options.
Elisa´s mother & father came into the US many many years ago on a tourist visa but they remained in the country and never left, so they are kind of ilegal and they may have problems staying in the country if Trum wins the election.
So, you may imagin where this starts from, they are on two opposite sides and they cannot reconcile their ideas. Darcy is super stubborn and full of pride, he knows he will never be with somebody like Elisa because that would not be a great image but he cant deny he feels something for her. Elisa hate him from the moment she met him because his super close and awefull with people and she has a huge pride for her roots and her family. 
Theres another paralel story between Elisa´s sister and Darcy´s friend which I think it did add more to the plot and I really liked how it all worked out.
The only reason why I didn´t give 5 stars was because I think the end was a little rushed and I would have liked to know what happen after the election with Elisa´s parents, but anyway I think it was a good retelling and I liked a lot the writting style of Corrie Garrett.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this story from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I adore Jane Austen and I think she'd be flattered by all the retellings out there! I've read my fair share and while some are less-than-great, this one was FANTASTIC! I could not read it fast enough.

I think the casting and general plot were incredibly innovative and refreshing. The framework of the original story lends itself quite well to this idea. It takes a polarising, popular topic and gives voice to a side many people wouldn't consider. It forces the reader to think about the situation from circumstances that are likely not their own. And I think Corrie Garrett handles things appropriately in her narrative. Great job, striking that balance!

The characters are wonderful. Never once was I put off by a character's portrayal. It all fit with the story - this one and the original. Elisa is just as fiesty and independent and loyal as Elizabeth; Noa is just as sweet, kind, and caring as Jane; Letitia is just as stupid and immature as Lydia. I really appreciated the expansion of Georgiana's role. I felt like it added another element and a unique twist that helped this story stand on its own.

It was difficult to read at times because I knew the outcome of the election (it's set in 2016). I kept wanting to reach through the pages and shake them all because they seemed to have their heads in the sand. Also, on a separate note: I struggled with the age difference a little, too. While Darcy's age is never explicitly specified, he has the air of someone significantly older than Elisa. It seems a little weird, that's all.

All in all, this was such a good book!

I'd happily recommend this to anyone who:
- loves Jane Austen
- falls on Darcy/Ben/Caroline's side of the political spectrum
- should feel seen in today's climate
- needs another book to read
Was this review helpful?
I love Pride and Prejudice so when I saw this new version I knew I had to read it. I wasnt sure about this at first but I kept reading and couldnt put it down. The setting was a great modernization of the story. As with all things I'm sure there were some liberties taken but the facts remain unchanged in terms of DACA, immigration, and the path to citizenship.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book! The modern retelling of a classic book from a Mexican American family in the Trump era was a story line I did not see coming! This is exactly why diverse authors and characters are so important in literature. Diverse stories are important, valuable, and need to be told frequently and widely. 

No matter your stance on the political issues of the day, this is an important read so that you can see a glimpse into the lives of others with vastly different experiences than your own. 

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours and NetGalley for provided and eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Pride and Prejudice and Passports: A Modern Retelling by Corrie Garrett.  I love Jane Austin, and usually adore the retelling of her books, but not this one.  The writing was not bad, but I didn't like all the politics in this book. 

I reviewed a digital arc provided by NetGalley and the publisher.  Thank you.
Was this review helpful?
Fantastic book! Loved the Latino Lizzy! This book did a great job taking the original Pride and Prejudice and modernizing it according to our times. The author did a wonderful job pulling me into the story and the issues and fears the various characters had. She did an incredibly clever job of being true to the original using all modern elements. For instance, Darcy was still ridiculously wealthy and his sister still somewhat shy, but also a musician. In this story, she was a famous singer, having to deal with Wickam's evil in a modern way (drugs, human trafficking, etc). With the Latino element, there were also the issues of immigration and prejudice with that. There are a terrific and beautiful Jane character and a dear, kind Bingley. In this story, however, he is a politician. Falling in love with a woman who doesn't have full citizenship could be very tricky. Great book with even a faith element. Highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?