10 Best Jane Austen Retellings

Though she lived and wrote more than two hundred years ago, Jane Austens prolific bibliography, which includes such literary classics as, still captures the minds and hearts of readers and authors everywhere today.

Her work has been retold and reworked countless times, in many different types of media, including our personal favorite books. Below, weve compiled ten of the best books out there that were inspired by Austens novels and every fan of her work is sure to find something to enjoy!

Peterson does a fantastic job developing Marnie from a grumpy, difficult character to a loveable without ever losing her core personality along the way.

InMr. Darcys Diary, Grange gives readers the opportunity to get a glimpse into the characters head, allowing us to experience the events of the original book through his lens, always a fascinating experiment. Fans of Mr. Darcy (and isnt that all of us?) should check this one out!

Ayesha Shamsi is a dreamer and poet, currently working as a teacher because she has debts to pay to her family. When she meets Khalid at a local mosque, the pair initially dislike each other (a nod to Darcy and Lizzie), but slowly come to accept their feelings. Jalaluddin does a remarkable job balancing the central romance against heavier issues like family and faith and culture and prejudice.

Are you an Austen fan, but have sometimes wished that her books were just a little bit more murder-y? Well, Tirzah Price has written the book for you!

In this retelling, Price tacklesPride and Prejudicefrom an entirely new angle, reimagining the story as a tightly plotted murder mystery. The best part?Pride and Premeditationis the first in a series of Jane Austen murder mysteries, and the second,Sense and Second-Degree Murder, released earlier this year!

Each book in the rom-com seriesPride, Prejudice and Other Flavors,Recipe for Persuasion,Incense and Sensibility, andThe Emma Projectis told from the POV of a different member of the Raje family, and they are all heartwarming, fun reads that cleverly nod to Austens original books while giving readers fresh spins on their plots.

You dont have to be a Jane Austen fan to enjoy the Rajesevery fan of romcoms is sure to love them!

A Sapphic retelling of Jane AustensPride and Prejudicethat also includes the fake dating trope? Sign us up. Not to mention, it takes place over Christmas time and the chemistry between its two leads literallyjumpsoff the page.

Bellefleurs novel is a refreshing play on an Austen retelling because although shes taken the vibes of Austens original characters, shes built an almost wholly original plot around them. Darcy is a stuffy actuary and Elle is a free-spirited astrologist, who are both set up by Darcys brother, the owner of a dating app. After a disastrous first date, the women are certain they are not meant to be, but both have their own motives for entering into a fake dating pactand, hijinks (and love) ensue.

Those looking to branch out from the numerous Pride and Prejudice retellings out there on shelves will be excited to learn of Kate Watsons charming debut, which updates AustensMansfield Parkfor the YA crowd. InSeeking Mansfield, Watson deftly updates the main character of the original text, giving her a strong character arc, and the book is better for it.

Pro-tip: if you enjoy this book, check out Watsons latest,Off Script, which is a retelling of the Austen classicEmma.

National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi deftly puts her own spin on Austens classic, incorporating topics like culture and gentrification to her take onPride and Prejudicewholly unique.

Set in modern-day Bushwick, Brooklyn, Zuri Benitez is a Haitian-Dominican teen with five sisters, who is fiercely protective of her neighborhood. When the old home across the street is renovated into a mini-mansion, shes furious, and immediately dislikes the people who move in. One who happens to be Darius Darcy. A heads-up for audiobook and YA fans: Elizabeth Acevedo narrates it!

Part of The Austen Project, a failed attempt by a U.K. publisher to modernize several of Austens novels,Eligibleis by far the most interesting of the bunch.

Author Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep,American Wife) updatesPride and Prejudice, modernizing the characters for the 21st century: Lizzie (Liz) is now a magazine writer, Jane is a yoga instructor, Kitty and Lydia are into Paleo and Crossfit, and Mary is enrolled in an online college. Theres even a plotline about a reality dating show. But, through it all, Sittenfeld retains the heart of Austens classic, and her update makes for a thoroughly entertaining read.

No list of Jane Austen retellings would be complete withoutBridget Joness Diary, a modernization ofPride & Prejudice.

No matter your feelings on the book itself, its an indisputable fact that it rocked the world upon its release, spawning multiple sequels and film adaptations.

Speaking of the film adaptation, the casting of Colin Firth as hate-love interest Mark Darcy is clever, considering he also played Mr. Darcy in 1995s iconicPride and Prejudiceadaptation.

Liz Lawson is the author ofThe Lucky Ones, a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2020, and the upcoming YA mysteryThe Agathas, which she co-wrote with NYT Bestselling author Kathleen Glasgow. She lives outside of Washington DC with her family and two bratty cats.

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