Friday, December 9, 2011

Pride and Prejudice: The Jewess and the Gentile by Lev Raphael: A Review

Pride and Prejudice: The Jewess and the Gentile

By: Jane Austen and Lev Raphael


Format: E-book only

Source: Supplied by the Author

Pride and Prejudice with a spice of Jewish flare. We know the story so famously written by Jane Austen that I won’t go into the particulars again. Lev Raphael offers us a nice dose of Austen, which remains virtually unchanged. Purists will delight in this offering, but those looking for something more may be disappointed.

I enjoyed this novel. What I did know to be Mr. Raphael’s contributions where witty, funny and well composed. Mrs. Bennet as a yenta was actually quite appropriate and I laughed quite a few times at her carefully placed Yiddish sayings. The conflict of Elizabeth being a Jewess and Darcy being a gentile was staged delicately, providing just enough tension to make their romance rocky.

I was disappointed in this Jane Austen retelling. I had high expectations for what I presumed to be a fresh take on the Austenesque novel. I was disappointed because I saw so much potential. For anyone familiar with Jewish history there is the basic knowledge that they have not had it easy. While I would not look for Mr. Raphael to make any political statements, my point is there is so much more Mr. Raphael could have done with the Jewess and Gentile aspect of the novel.

Mr. Raphael could have really placed his mark, but he fell short by playing it safe. When I read an Austenesque novel I want to know the author has placed their mark on it. I know who Jane Austen is, but who are you and what makes your Austen novel so different? There was too much Austen and not enough Lev Raphael. As I mentioned earlier Raphael could have really played with the Jewess and Gentile aspect, but didn’t.

Despite my gripes, I would recommend this novel if you are looking for a light Austen diversion.

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