First Impressions by Debra White Smith

Cleverly written! First Impressions: A Contemporary Retelling of Pride and Prejudice is a clever retelling of a classic story many of us love. Author Debra Smith retells Pride and Prejudice with a modern twist. All the of the favorite and less favorite characters are present, names changed but still using the first letters of the names of the classic characters—a great way to orient readers to the new characters without burdening them with too much detail.

The idea of having the modern characters tell their stories as they prepare to perform Pride and Prejudice as a play is an ingenious way to infuse the book with witty and incisive words of Jane Austen throughout the novel. Smith deftly creates believable characters and unexpected plot twists in her retelling of the classic story.

While I loved most of the new characters and felt they reflected the original characters in authentic and fresh ways, the character of Linda (Lydia) was a turnoff with her drug and alcohol use and her promiscuous lifestyle. Linda’s character seemed over the top and incongruous when considering the original story as well as her older sisters’ reactions to her behavior which were too dismissive and accepting. Bethany House gave me a complimentary copy of First Impressions by Debra White Smith for my candid review.