8 Delightful Romance Books Inspired By Jane Austen
Jane Austen inspired so many great books!
Jane Austen Retellings
If I had to name one author that's had the biggest impact on modern romance, hands down, I'd say it's Jane Austen. Many writers cite her as one of their biggest influences. Pride and Prejudice is a staple in high school English class. Hundreds of romance novels have been inspired by Jane Austen, if not more! This isn't to mention the adaptions of movies, TV series, and comics.
While researching books for this article, I discovered that there is a trend of retelling Jane Austen books with diverse characters, something we're 100 percent here for! This article alone features retellings with characters of color), characters with religions other than Christianity, and queer characters. Characters whose voices are often over looked in favor of the status quo.
If you're a fan of Jane Austen, you'll love these retellings of her classic novels!
1. Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal
Scandal and rumor ruin the Binat family, destroying marriage prospects for their five daughters in this take on Pride and Prejudice. The second eldest, Alys, isn't too concerned, finding happiness teaching English literature. She knows many of her students will drop out before graduation to get married and start families, so she teaches them about Jane Austen and "other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more." Mrs. Binat is thrilled when they all get invited to a wedding, likely full of bachelors. Eldest daughter, Jena, falls for Fahed "Bungles" Bingla. But Alys overhears his friend, Valentine Darsee, talking about her family and writes him off. While they wait for Bungles to propose to Jena, Alys realizes Darsee may be very different than the person she originally thought him to be.
2. Central Park by Debra White Smith
Based on Mansfield Park, Francine is torn from her family at a young age, sent to live with her Aunt Mariette and Uncle Tom. Their foster son helps her adjust to her new life, their bond growing over the years as they spend their time in Central Park. Ethan heads to Paris on a trip and Francine realizes she's in love with him. When he returns, he's accompanied by Carrie Casper who he has fallen in love with, and Carrie's flirtatious brother, Hugh. Francine's uncle pressures her to accept Hugh and she becomes torn between settling for a marriage of convenience and her heart.
3. Pride by Ibi Zoboi
Zuri Benitez is proud. Proud of her Afro-Latino roots, of her family, of her Brooklyn home. However, pride isn't going save her home from gentrification. The wealthy Darcy family moves across the street and Zuri immediately wants nothing to do with them, despite the face Zuri's sister Janae begins falling for Ainsley. She really can't stand arrogant Darrius, but they are forced together and begin to understand each other. However, Zuri's being pulled in all directions with her four wild sisters, her college applications on deadline, another boy vying for her attention, and her neighborhood changing before her eyes.
4. If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker
Based on Emma, If I Loved You Less is about Theodosia Sullivan, manager of her family's surf shop in Hanalei Bay who just so happens to love playing matchmaker for both locals and tourists. She just doesn't see much use for romance herself. She'd never dream of playing matchmaker for Kini ʻŌpūnui, the owner of Queen's Sweet Shop. After all, Kini's brother married Theo's sister. Theo doesn't heed Kini's warnings and her matchmaking comes back to bite her in the butt. Especially when it turns out Kini may end up with someone else.
5. Perfect Day by Sally Malcolm
Sally Malcolm's Perfect Day is based on Persuasian and follows Joshua Newton, the son of one of Long Island's elite. He fell in love with an ambitious young actor named Finn Callaghan and his life made sense for the first time. But Joshua let his family's disapproval get in the way of their happiness and made a huge mistake. Eight years later, Finn is back in the seaside town where they once fell in love. On the cusp of making it big, the last thing he wants is to run into Joshua -- it's taken so long to forget him. Yet their shared history draws them back together and old feelings return.
6. Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Ayesha Shamsi dreams of being a poet, but for now, she works as a teacher to pay off her debt to her uncle in this retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Living at home with her boisterous Muslim family is always an adventure, especially considering her younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting one hundred marriage proposals. Ayesha is a bit lonely, but she isn't interested in an arranged marriage. She meets Khalid, a man who is smart and handsome yet conservative and judgmental and, weirdly, dressing like he "belongs in the seventh century." Then Ayesha discovers Hafsa and Khalid are engaged and she is torn between her growing feelings for him and rumors she hears about her family.
7. Sway by Melanie Stanford
A recent grad from Julliard, Ava Elliot never expected to end up a couch-surfer in Melanie Stanford's retelling of Persuasion. With her dad squandering the family money, she didn't really have a lot of choices. And as if things weren't bad enough, her ex-fiance, Eric Wentworth, is back. When Ava ended things eight years ago, she was scared of her dad's approval and of ending up destitute. But now Eric is a musical success and Ava is rock bottom. Her feelings for him have returned big time and she knows it's time to tell him the truth, especially if they're to have a second chance at love. But will he forgive her? Will she forgive herself?
8. Pride and Porters by Charlotte Greene
Erin and Jen Bennet's dream comes to fruition when they open Bennet Sisters Brewing. It's popular, but "like any small business, their brewery is never far from closing forever." A Boston brewer, Charlie Betters, and his friend Darcy Fitzwilliam, ask the Bennet sisters for their help. They welcome the distraction in their life, Jen and Charlie instantly smitten with each other. However, Erin finds Darcy pretentious and cruel. But that doesn't stop Erin from being attracted to her. Things spiral out of control and a misunderstanding could end their chance at love.