Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Nook Review: "PRIDE'S PREJUDICE" by Misty Dawn Pulsipher

Misty Dawn Pulspher
Pride’s Prejudice is debuting author, Misty Dawn Pulsipher’s, mature, contemporary treatment of Miss Jane Austen’s beloved coming of age novel about class distinctions and false assumptions. While many authors are attempting Austen adaptations, particularly of Pride and Prejudice, Ms. Pulsipher has a rich writing style and the honest courage worthy of such an effort.

College coed, Beth Pride, and her roommate Jenna, meet two wealthy businessmen at a college charity auction. Lighthearted Les Bradford bids on Jenna and sweeps her off her feet, but William Darcy’s mind is preoccupied with family problems, and aside from being roped into attending this charity function, the only thing he’s less interested in is paying to dance with a college coed. Enter Beth, the shanghaied auction “item” and last coed left standing. William bids on Beth as an act of mercy, which he thoughtlessly reveals to her, wounding Beth’s pride. In retaliation, she fires off a cutting reply, and the unhealthy dynamic between Beth and William, and their best friends, Jenna and Les, is set early on.

Pride’s Prejudice is a romantic pleasure fest. Technically, Pulsipher’s dialogues are crisp and believable, and her economical use of words moves the story along, while painting clear settings and building her characters into rich satisfying friends you care deeply about. Pulsipher doesn’t tell us a great story. She paints one for us, using beautiful lines like these:

The house fell behind them like a sulky child left standing in the road.

. . .it was clear to Beth. The connections we share in this life are fragile—wispy spider webs, easily swept aside with the crass bristles of circumstance.

But there’s so much more here.

It is no easy task to adapt Austen-era situations to our day while still remaining relevant, clean, and honest. Pulsipher’s writing sizzles with romantic tension and pleasure while remaining a clean read that doesn’t insult a thinking woman’s sensibilities, such as these passages:

A sick feeling laces through her insides like a parasite. It takes up residence in the dark recesses of her heart and mind. Could he have possibly done this to her?  . . .The glimmering castle of her girlhood hopes burns down, leaving a heap of smoldering ash in its place.

Liquid fire saturated her body, incinerating any trace of coherent thought.  . . Time seemed to ebb, as if the earth had slowed its rotation. As if they were in another dimension. . .  When her fingertips grazed the skin of his waist at the sides, he pulled her in tighter for an instant, pressing his palms into the small of her back. Then he froze. Somewhere, perhaps in that other dimension, an invisible switch had been thrown.

Pride’s Prejudice was self-published by Ms. Pulsipher, and admittedly, it contains a few more editing and formatting errors than most commercially-published novels, but only a few, and stylistically, the characters’ occasional internal conversations distract from the power of the well-crafted dialogue, but no worries. The quality of the author’s writing easily triumphs over these minor distractions. The Prologue nagged at me through the first half of the book, but set it aside. Pulsipher ties it in beautifully at the end.

Pride’s Prejudice nearly caused some marital discord in my own home. I seriously stole away to read this book every chance I got. It's that good. In fact, I'll be nominating "Pride's Prejudice"  for a 2014 Whitney Award. As I said, it’s that good.

(Better yet, Ms. Pulspher is giving the ebook away for free until July 30th.  Here's the link. Grab a free copy.)

1 comment:

  1. "(Better yet, Ms. Pulspher is giving the ebook away for free until July 30th. Here's the link. Grab a free copy.)"

    No, the book is not free through that link. It is $7.99