Ardently Admired: Jane Austen Retellings on Audio

Independent heroines, sharp social commentary, and the complicated business of love are all staples of Jane Austen novels that have proven timeless. Oh, alright, and she writes romantic leads who make downright dreamy declarations of love. Perhaps that’s why we often find ourselves with the remote in hand, queueing up one of the many brilliant Austen film adaptations (and debating our friends about which one is the best).

And while The Hand Flex of Pride and Prejudice (2005) is unbeatable, try something new: press play on an audiobook retelling of a Jane Austen classic, from Emma set in Delhi to Pride and Prejudice reimagined as The Great British Bake Off-Meets-The Bachelorette, there’s an Austen-esque audiobook sure to bewitch you (wink wink):

Georgina Wagman has it all…until she walks in on her husband in a compromising position with a junior associate. But divorce is not a part of the five-year plan, so she comes up with an idea to save her marriage and recapture the spark. She and Nathan are going to become swingers. The Lifestyle is a playful homage to Jane Austen’s Emma Woodhouse and an outrageously fun summer listen.

Author: Jennifer Yen
Read By: Annie Q

Gigi Wong strives to be the best. But how is she to stand out when her classmates seem so perfect too? Her answer comes in the form of an app writing contest: if Gigi can win, she has a chance at a prestigious tech internship. When new friend Etta confides that she’s struggling to fit in, it gives Gigi an idea. What if she takes what she’s learned from shadowing her aunt Rose, a professional matchmaker, to create a fun friend-making app? Perfect…or so it seems.

Liza Yang is nearly perfect. But to her mom, Liza is anything but, especially when it comes to dating. Liza agrees to help out at Mrs. Yang’s bakery’s annual competition, but there’s a surprise catch: all of the contestants are young Asian American men her mother has picked for Liza to date. And worse…she finds herself attracted to one of the contestants.

“A perfect story for those looking for a fun summer listen.”–AudioFile

Author: Soniah Kamal
Read By: Soniah Kamal

The Binat daughters are not desirable marriage prospects. But when a wedding invitation arrives, Mrs. Binat sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for eligible bachelors. Alys Binat’s sister, Jena, catches the eye of one such bachelor, but his friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed. As the Binats wait to see if Jena will land a proposal, Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

“Author Soniah Kamal delivers a passionate and jovial narration of her Pakistani retelling of the classic novel Pride and Prejudice.”–AudioFile Magazine

Mary Bennet possesses neither the beauty of her eldest sister, Jane, nor the wit of second-born Lizzy. As her sisters wed, one by one, Mary pictures herself growing old, a spinster, dependent on the charity of others. At least she has her secret pleasures of reading and writing. But even her fictional creations are no match for the scandal, tragedy, and romance that eventually visit Mary’s own life.

“Narrator Marisa Calin brings a refreshing voice to the previously barely heard from and often mocked Mary Bennet.”–AudioFile Magazine

Author: Mahesh Rao
Read By: Deepti Gupta

Beautiful and clever Ania Khurana has Delhi wrapped around her finger. But when her aunt’s nephew arrives from America, the social tides begin to shift. Surrounded money, relentless currents of gossip, and an unforgettable cast of characters, Ania discovers that her good intentions are no match for Delhi’s high society–or for her own feelings for her childhood friend.

Liz Bennet is a writer in her late thirties who lives in New York City with her older sister Jane. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home to find it in disarray. Still, Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters. Enter Chip Bingley, a doctor who recently appeared on the reality TV dating show Eligible. Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to be much less charming…at first.

“Narrator Cassandra Campbell’s lively narration complements Sittenfeld’s sharply observed and witty updates.”–AudioFile Magazine

Ayesha Shamsi lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid, who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental…and irritatingly attractive.