Title: The Bennet Women
Author: Eden Appiah-Kubi
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Source: Thomas Allen and Son (book distributor)
Release Date: September 1, 2021
In this delightfully modern spin on Pride and Prejudice, love is a goal, marriage is a distant option, and self-discovery is a sure thing.
Welcome to Bennet House, the only all-women’s dorm at prestigious Longbourn University, home to three close friends who are about to have an eventful year. EJ is an ambitious Black engineering student. Her best friend, Jamie, is a newly out trans woman studying French and theater. Tessa is a Filipina astronomy major with guy trouble. For them, Bennet House is more than a residence—it’s an oasis of feminism, femininity, and enlightenment. But as great as Longbourn is for academics, EJ knows it can be a wretched place to find love.
Yet the fall season is young and brimming with surprising possibilities. Jamie’s prospect is Lee Gregory, son of a Hollywood producer and a gentleman so charming he practically sparkles. That leaves EJ with Lee’s arrogant best friend, Will. For Jamie’s sake, EJ must put up with the disagreeable, distressingly handsome, not quite famous TV actor for as long as she can.
What of it? EJ has her eyes on a bigger prize, anyway: launching a spectacular engineering career in the “real world” she’s been hearing so much about. But what happens when all their lives become entwined in ways no one could have predicted—and EJ finds herself drawn to a man who’s not exactly a perfect fit for the future she has planned?
Bennet House is a women’s dorm at Longbourn University in New England. EJ is a resident advisor and an engineering student. Jamie is a trans woman, who is studying theater and French, and is best friends with EJ. Tessa is a Filipina astronomy major with a terrible boyfriend named Collin. At the start of the fall semester, EJ starts hearing whispers about a new student, Lee Gregory. He’s a charming guy who immediately falls for Jamie. EJ ends up hanging out with Jamie, Lee, and his best friend Will. Will is an actor who’s trying to hide out after a very public breakup. EJ has big plans for her post-graduate future, but she’s attracted to Will, someone who doesn’t seem to fit into her plans.
This is the most diverse story I’ve ever read. Each of the characters were either BIPOC or queer. Though there was this diverse representation, their diversity didn’t define the characters. They all went through relatable experiences throughout their university year. These diverse characters also fit in perfectly with the regency story of Pride and Prejudice.
I love retellings of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read so many though, that it’s difficult to find a unique spin on the classic. This was a great, original take on the story. The Bennet women weren’t related, but they had a close bond from living together in their dorm. Though the characters didn’t face the same challenges as the ones in the original story (such as needing to find a rich husband to secure their future), they had more modern challenges (such as deciding on what post graduate programs to take). I loved this modernization of the story.
The Bennet Women is a great retelling of Pride and Prejudice!
Thank you Thomas Allen and Son for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Have you read The Bennet Women? What did you think of it?