“Look,” he said after several minutes. “Darcy…”
My grunt of disgust was instant. “Look, Lucas, no one likes to be addressed like that.”
He paused for a second. “Sorry. I have undeveloped social skills.”
Finally! Something we agreed on!
(from Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks, page 44)
Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the high school crowd, but adult fans of the classic novel also will enjoy Andrea Brokaw’s interpretation. The basic storyline of Pride and Prejudice is there — girl and boy meet, offend one another, hate one another, get to know one another, and navigate misunderstandings until they finally come to their senses. However, in catering to a modern (and younger) audience, Brokaw deviates from the original in many ways, making it easy for readers to get caught up in the world she has created and even forget that they are reading an Austen-inspired novel.
Darcy Bennet is a high school senior living in Meryton, New York. She does well in school, but she only cares about curling, so much so that she is upset when her best friend, Jean, expresses interest in going to college in California — a move that would dismantle their curling team. When Jean expresses an interest in Adam, Darcy encourages her to pursue a relationship with him in hopes that it will persuade Jean to go to Catskill College with Darcy and keep the curling team together. Darcy isn’t sure why Adam’s friend, Lucas Fitzwilliam, doesn’t want Adam and Jean together. She finds Lucas arrogant and annoying, and she makes sure he knows exactly how she feels about him.
Meanwhile, a fellow curler, Hunter, begins showing an interest in Darcy, and even though she thinks something isn’t quite right about him, she can’t deny that he is attractive. She soon learns that Hunter and Lucas go way back, and they don’t have anything nice to say about one another. Why would Lucas, according to Hunter, abandon his team in the middle of a curling competition? Darcy can’t think of a good reason, but she also can’t reconcile the Lucas who would abandon his teammates with the Lucas who dotes on his young niece.
I really enjoyed Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks, and I don’t know anything about curling, other than what I’ve seen on the Olympics. Brokaw, a curler herself, makes it easy for non-curlers to follow the games she describes, and she made me want to one day try the sport. Darcy comes across as selfish and singularly focused, but I think most readers can remember being self-absorbed teenagers worried about being separated from their best friends as graduation day nears. And while Darcy is obsessed with curling, I am obsessed with books, so I can understand her need for an outlet from the stresses of life.
Brokaw does an excellent job creating believable characters who are both flawed and likable. I could see a little of Elizabeth Bennet in Darcy and a little of Mr. Darcy in Lucas, but I was glad that the book didn’t follow Austen’s too closely. Brokaw’s novel felt fresh and exciting, and even though I knew how it would end, I had no idea how the characters would get there. Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks would be enjoyable without the Austen connection, but pairing Austen and curling certainly is a good way to attract attention!
Disclosure: I received Pride, Prejudice, and Curling Rocks from the author for review.
© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.