Wednesday, 20 December 2017

#BookReview: Austenistan edited by Laaleen Sukhera

Title: Austenistan
Edited by: Laleen Sukhera 
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 180
ISBN: 9789386950260


Heiress and society doyenne Kamila Mughal is humiliated when her brother’s best friend snubs her to marry a social climbing nobody from Islamabad. Jamila Baig’s cold, unenterprising husband hasn’t planned for the future and all she can think about is how to find suitable husbands for her daughters. Roya discovers that her fianc√© has been cheating on her and ends up on a blind date on her wedding day. Beautiful young widow Saira has mourned her husband but feels she may finally be reading to start following her own desires.


The cover page of Austenistan is very attractive blue in colour with the name of the book written in shocking pink colour. The cover page has an image of a girl wearing goggles having image of monuments of Pakistan and is holding a cup in hand on which the editor name is written. Overall, the cover is very different and is eye catching. I loved it. 


Austenistan made up of two words Austen and Pakistan. Austenistan is a collection of seven short stories written by the members of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan. The book starts with a foreword by Caroline Jane Knight, The Founder and Chair of Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. The stories are romantic, witty and heart breaking which pay a homage to Austen. The stories are inspired by Jane Austen and are set in contemporary Pakistan. They are very well written and are a delight to read. Set in Pakistan, the stories reflect the culture, social life, fashion and a lot more about Pakistan. I belong to a refugee family and there are quite a few words which connected me a lot to the stories such as kanaal, dabka and various others. Each story starts with a quote by Jane Austen such as from Emma, Pride and Prejudice etc. All the stories have a female protagonist just like Austen's novels. The book is fast paced and written in a simple language. The events in the stories are very well described and are realistic. Let's dig into the stories a bit:

1. The Fabulous Banker Boys by Mahlia S Lone revolves around Elisha and Mr.Dar and is a mordern retelling ofJane Austen's famous book Pride and Prejudice.

2. Begum Saira Returns by Nida Elley revolves around Saira who is a widow and steps back into the society after her husband's death.

3. Emaan Ever After by Mishayl Naek is a story about Emaan who realizes that she loves her childhood best friend. 

4.The Mughal Empire by Sanniya Gauhar is about Kamila who is dumped by her love and will she find love ?

5. The Autumn Ball by Gayathari Warnasuriya is story about a married couple and how their lives change after the birth of their baby boy.

6. Only The Deepest Love by Sonya Rehman is a story about Samina and her take on marriage. 

7. On the Verge by Laaleen Sukhera revolves around Roya who finds her fiance cheating on her and decidesto go on a blind date on her wedding day.

Overall, Austenistan is one of most beautiful and and an amazing book that I read in 2017. The book is a treat for Austen lovers. I really enjoyed reading all the stories and it was a wonderful experience. This book is a 'Must Read' especially for all the women out there. 

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Buy the book here :


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Laaleen Sukhera is a communications consutant and media professional based in Lahore. She has worked in media projects, TV productions and advertising in Pakistan, the UK and the USA. She appears as apanelist and a public speaker at various literary events and is the founder of the Jane Austen Society of Pakistan.

* I received an ARC from Bloomsbury India. Thank you.

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Happy Reading!

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