Good Fortune

Harper Via. Jul. 2023. 400p. ISBN 9780063293762. $29.99. F
DEBUT This debut by the pseudonymous Chau is an updated retelling of Pride and Prejudice with an Asian American twist, set in New York City’s Chinatown around the turn of the 21st century. The protagonists are Elizabeth Chen, Darcy Wong, and their families and friends, all with similar Austenlike names. Elizabeth’s mother is a realtor who has finally sold her white whale, the community center of Chinatown. Darcy heads the company that purchased the building, putting him in direct conflict with Elizabeth, who’s determined to keep the community center from becoming an upscale mall. Darcy and Elizabeth come from different worlds; his, a wealthy Hong Kong family, and hers, a large family all crammed into a tiny New York City apartment, who add humor amid chaos. The plot line of Pride and Prejudice remains intact here, and the story reaches it denouement with Darcy to the rescue, causing Elizabeth to reexamine her prejudices and forcing Darcy to set aside his pride. While it takes a while to get there, the rest of the novel speeds by until everyone gets their happy ending.
VERDICT Jane Austen fans should enjoy this, especially those who like modern, multicultural reimaginings of her novels, such as Sonali Dev’s Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors and Uzma Jalaluddin’s Ayesha at Last.
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