Longbourn by Jo Baker flips the story of Pride and Prejudice upside down to focus on the domestic servants in the background of the Bennett household. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett become minor characters while the behind the scenes stories of Longbourn, Netherfield, and Pemberly become the focus. I do not generally like “reimaginings” of books that I’ve already read (don’t get me started on the prequel to Anne of Green Gables) but this book was an exception. I really liked this imaginative take on retelling a classic story. Instead of making characters zombies, vampires etc. the author fleshes out characters that were merely an afterthought in the original novel.
While this was obviously meant to capitalize on the success of Downton Abbey, it’s a really entertaining story that stands on its own. If you are an Austen scholar this book may make your eye twitch but I thought it was fun.