Adaptation Angle: Prom and Prejudice

A heartfelt tribute to the classic novel, this book is worth the read.

If you’ve yet to read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, go read that, then come back and read this review and the book it’s about. You’re back? Great, let’s get into the review.

Jane Austen meets the modern day in Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg. The novel, an adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, is a short, fun read that I highly recommend. Taking the key events from the original story, Eulberg creates a unique and charming homage to one of the most cherished romance novels in the western canon. Though the era differs, the characters and events remain very similar to the original. Reset at an all-girls boarding school, the revamped story recasts Eliza Bennett as a gifted piano player and scholarship student, Jane as a dear friend rather than her sister, and Darcy and Bingley as students at a nearby all-boys school. 

Although the chronological settings of the two stories are drastically different, Eulberg manages to deftly substitute dinners at Netherfield with ski vacations, and journeys to the countryside with piano recital. The two stories, while similar, are not identical, and Eulberg’s unique spin on characters makes the book very much worth the read. Eliza’s musical talents are expanded, not only to allow for plot points to happen, but also to reclaim some of the character depth lost in the drastically shorter story. The shortening of the story has major effects on other characters too, Wickham, especially, is even more of a scoundrel than before. Darcy’s parents are alive and have new roles, allowing for Darcy, and the rest of the cast, to be younger. These changes allow the story to appeal to the modern young adult audience. The parental Bennett’s are also changed, rendered more harmonious and mostly out of the picture in the novel, a change that, while necessary for the length, is saddening.

Eulberg’s language and diction in the book is reminiscent of Austen’s, though of course modernized and an easier read. At one point, Eulberg uses language so memorable that I honestly believed it was a direct quotation from the original story. In fact it was Eulberg’s own language, and I was suitably impressed. Throughout the book, the writing is great and complements the plot and characters nicely.

I highly recommend Prom and Prejudice to fans of Pride and Prejudice who are in search of a fun, light read that manages to surprise even while staying true to its source material. You can find it at the school library, the public library, and even drug stores.