#freebook Thank you @PutnamBooks for this copy to review!
Ania Khurana is one of the leading socialites in Delhi, India. She knows who comes from old money and new, and all the latest gossip, After Ania has successfully found a love match for her spinster aunt, she sets her matchmaking skills to work on her new friend Dimple. Ania's childhood friend, Dev, encourages her to find something more worthwhile to do than to arrange the love lives of others.
Does this synopsis ring a bell? Polite Society is described as a modern reimaging of Jane Austen's Emma. Notice the key word, reimaging. This is not a retelling of Emma, character for character or chapter by chapter. The author cleverly took Emma and gave it a Bollywood spin and sprinkled it with a dash of Crazy Rich Asians. I find Austen's works translate well into South Asian culture where class status and arranged marriages are part of the fabric of society. The author navigates the reader through Delhi's elite social circles with insight and a colorful cast of characters. As I read this, I could definitely follow threads of Emma, and yet, the author put his own creative spin on the plot and characters, delivering elements of surprise. I really enjoyed that Ania has aspirations to be an author and shares her love of reading with Dev. Austen lovers might expect this to be a comical, light hearted read, and while there is humor, at times the plot felt dark and tragic to me. Although, the story of Emma has timeless appeal, its clear that a modern day Emma, might find the field of matchmaking littered with land mines in a world where people can easily hide who they really are. Just like Emma, the plot leads Ania to self discovery, especially in matters of her own heart. - 3 hours ago