Austenistan (Edited by Laaleen Sukhaira)

Genre: Anthology (Romance)

Published: 6th December 2017

Print length: 164 pages

Rating: 3/5

About The Author: Austenistan is an anthology inspired by Austen’s writings, characteristically, have settings, written by women and who, in many ways, have far more common with Jane’s world than modern readers.

Foreword is written by Carolin Jane Knight, who is the Founder and Chair of Jane Austen Literacy Foundation.

About The Book: Inspired by Jane Austen and set in contemporary Pakistan, Austenistan is a collection of seven stories; romantic, uplifting, witty, and heartbreaking by turn, which pay homage to the world’s favourite author in their own uniquely local way.

Review: It took longer than I thought it would take to read the book and write the review. One, due to busy schedule. Two, due to the heavy disappointment i felt when I realized these are not short stories with a proper ending. Just snippets that make you want to march down to the author’s house, shove the book at her, and DEMAND she finish the story, even as a novella.

Mind you, you do get the gist of the whole story, but it did not satisfy me at all.

Did the book do its job of showcasing the similarities between us Desi Brown Girls, our lives and Austen’s work? Yes, yes it did. But many times i found myself wondering, “Wow, this happens in Pakistan??” (Pretends to clutch her non-existent pearls at her neck).

Some stories really bored me, like the second one, Begum Saira Returns by Nida Elley. Maybe because of the story line. Been there, read that, have the paperback/ebook to prove it.

All in all, it was a ”meh” kinda read. Nothing Omg this is so funny and nice! about it.

Individual ratings of all the short stories are down below:

The Fabulous Banker Boys ( Mahlia S Lone): 2.5/5 – Pakistan is way more than what this story showed. Two sides of the coin and all that.

Begum Saira Returns (Nida Elley): 2/5 – No, just.. No. You have to read it to know why I did NOT like it. There are some things a woman just doesn’t do.

Emaan Ever After (Mishayl Naek): 3.5/5 – A sweet, if not a little out there, friends-to-lovers read.

The Mughal Empire (Saniyya Gauhar): 3/5 – Eh, at this point I was just reading it to get done with the story. I don’t like leaving books on DNF.

The Autumn Ball (Gayathri Warnasuriya): 4/5 – This one I liked. Shows the truth about marriages and how hard it is to maintain the same love and relationship two people have in the beginning of a relationship and a few years down the road.

Only The Deepest Love (Sonya Rehman): 4/5 – Very cute. The kind of read I’d be down for. I WANT THE WHOLE STORY.

On The Verge (Laaleen Sukhera): 4/5 – This one was a hoot. Loved the main character and her inner monologue.

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