Tuesday, 31 March 2015

What are Cheese Grits anyway?

This hilarious Southern retelling of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice "tells the story of two hard-headed Civil war historians who find that first impressions can be deceiving. Shelby Roswell, a Civil War historian and professor, is on the fast track to tenure--that is, until her new book is roasted by the famous historian Ransom Fielding in a national review. With her career stalled by a man she's never met, Shelby struggles to maintain her composure when she discovers that Fielding has taken a visiting professorship at her small Southern college. Ransom Fielding is still struggling with his role in his wife's accidental death six years ago and is hoping that a year at Shelby's small college near his hometown of Oxford, Mississippi, will be a respite from the pressures of Ivy League academia. He never bargained for falling in love with the one woman whose career--and pride--he injured, and who would do anything to make him leave. When these two hot-headed southerners find themselves fighting over the centuries-old history of local battles and antebellum mansions, their small college is about to become a battlefield of Civil War proportions. With familiar and relatable characters and wit to spare, "Pride, Prejudice and Cheese Grits "shows you that love can conquer all...especially when pride, prejudice, love, and cheese grits are involved!

This book is supposedly based on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (but that could be just a marketing ploy).  In some places it has elements from P&P but it is nothing like the aforementioned book.  Equally there are quotes from P&P at the beginning of each chapter.  And that is where the similarities end.

Unfortunately unlike P&P these characters are very light weight lacking any real substance.  I did not really understand their actions or motivation.  The main female lead was constantly winging one particular incident throughout the entire book which got tedious very fast.  Likewise the minor characters were one dimensional.  The methods of contact between the two main characters did not ring true either.  It was all too simplistic and unbelievable. 

The hero eventually capitulated about the thing the heroine was winging about but this reader felt that she forgave him far too easily.  This reader felt that there was no tension between the hero and heroine and the author gave them little personality with nothing for the reader to hang on to.  In short this reader thought that the characters were nothing like wonderfully written characters in Pride and Prejudice.

This interesting element of the book, namely the university politics was briefly mentioned and squashed by the lackadaisical read.  This is a good clean book with some bawdy humour.  Unfortunately, this reader found it all a bit too cartoony for her liking.  It was her first novel by this author and unfortunately it will be their last.

Full Disclosure: ARC received from Netgalley for an honest review.

I rated this 2 stas on Netgalley and 'It was OK' on Goodreads (2 stars) and Amazon (3 stars).

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