‘Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits’: Jane Austen Novel Goes South!

June 11, 2014 Rissi JC 7 Comments

STORY: The first in this Southern series is, appropriately a spin (or perhaps more of an influence) on Pride & Prejudice. Set in college, Shelby Roswell is a hard-working professor passionate about her research as a Civil War historian, only her class size is pitiful and the one book she publishes is lambasted by a prestigious historian. Her life gets complicated when that historian, Ransom Fielding, takes a job at Shelby’s small-town college leaving her more hackled than honored. This sets into motion a clash of the two personalities, which includes debates on everything, all served up with a side of cheese grits!

PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND CHEESE GRITS, by Mary Anne Hathaway | Book Review

‘Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits’: Jane Austen Novel Goes South! A review of the novel by Mary Jane Hathaway. Text © Rissi JC

REVIEW: If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time, you know I’m pretty much game for any kind of Austen re-telling. This Southern series is something I saw on Amazon as an Indie novel, and it’s now getting reissues by HarperCollins and its Christian division Howard Books. As I read this, Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits is one of those novels that isn’t – honestly – what I expect. The rapid introduction of characters causes us to try to figure out their counterparts. Most ends up being not how we know the story, but how the author revises it. What’s most attractive about this story is its blend of contemporary and history. There’s a ton of trivia because of the the Civil War banter between feuding historians, which becomes maybe a bit too monotonous, to be honest. That being said, the reason for this fits the story well and isn’t just there.

BOOK REVIEW | ‘You Deserve Each Other’: An Unusually Fun Romance Novel

Half the fun of this book is puzzling out what pays homage to Austen. Aside from Shelby (Lizzie) and Ransom (Darcy), it’s really anyone’s guess and interpretation who is who. This because the secondary characters don’t seem as important. In this version, there’s only two additional “Bennet sisters,” and both are younger than Shelby; a combination of Lizzie and Jane. She’s got spunk, and a kind heart. For readers who aren’t a fan of Austen retellings, I’d encourage you to give this a shot. It’s not a traditional retelling, and I mean this in the best way. It’s got Austen flavor, but is a quirky romance that stands alone. I also really like Shelby’s friend Rebecca. Their hilarious bond reminds us of the best sister moments in the classic Pride & Prejudice which makes for a lovely lighthearted break from the historical facets.

Entertaining in the best sense, this Southern novel has all the right characteristics to work and it’s one of those books that is about more than meets the eye!

‘Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits’: Jane Austen Novel Goes South! A review of the novel by Mary Jane Hathaway. #FWArchives #Books #BookReviews #JaneAusten Click To Tweet

About the Book:

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)

Author: Mary Jane Hathaway
Publisher: Howard Books
Source: Publisher Provided – thank you!
Publication Date: 2014 (re-issue)
Shop the Book:  Amazon | Bookshop.org | Goodreads
Find the Review elsewhere: Amazon ▪ Goodreads ▪ WordPress
Series: Jane Austen Takes the South, book 1
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5

Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com June 11, 2014 at 3:03 AM

    Sounds pretty fun! Great review.

    • Rissi June 12, 2014 at 1:35 AM

      It is pretty fun, Juju. Enjoy if/when you read it. :)

  • Bekah M. June 13, 2014 at 4:54 AM

    I saw this book a couple of weeks ago and was super intrigued. I, like you, like pretty much anything Jane Austen related (except the movie Lost in Austen–that was a fail for me). I am very excited about this one now that I read your thoughts on it. Great review!

    • Rissi June 13, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      This is a fun story, Bekah. I liked how Mary Jane spun the "scandal" that sent Darcy (Ransom) away from Lizzy (Shelby) because it was appropriate for the story and it was nice that their bickering wasn't as "back and forth" as the original. Hope you enjoy this one! :)

  • Rachel Hoyt June 18, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    I saw this one offhand somewhere, but when the third one popped up on Edelweiss I requested it! I can't resist a Jane Austen retelling with a Southern twist! I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one. I like that it sounds like it's not a totally faithful adaptation as well. Sometimes I like twists. :) Great review Rissi! :D

    • Rissi June 18, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      I agree, Rachel! It is fun to read a "retelling" that isn't afraid to be itself. And this book is great at that. Cannot wait to read your thoughts, too, and I hope you like it. Already I'm curious about book two – especially since I enjoy Emma. :)

      Thanks for reading.

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