Audrey Cameron has lost her spark and her art is struggling because of it. But after being dumped by her first love and waitlisted for her dream school, she is not really in the mood to go out and try to find it again. Until Mr. Montgomery, a regular at her family’s Pittsburgh convenience story, shows up and tosses her a coin…and back in time to 1812.
The last thing Lucy Sinclair expected to find on her family’s estate was a strangely dressed young woman with an American accent claiming to be from 200 years in the future. But has to admit that Audrey is a welcome distraction from the terrible turn her life is about to take.
As the two girls try to figure out how to send Audrey back home, they find their interests sparked, not by the suitors that come calling for their hands, but for each other.
I will fully admit to the fact that, while I did read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen, I was definitely distracted most of the way through it and only really remember the plot because of the BBC miniseries and the Keira Knightley film (cue diehard fans fighting over who is the better Darcy). But Lippincott’s retelling had my full, undivided attention from start to finish.
A tale of sapphic yearning and bisexual awakening, Lippincott brings to life a struggle that I expect most queer people (myself included) can relate to in one way or another. Set primarily in 1812, it takes the idea of finding the right person at the wrong time to the extreme but also brings along a message of hope and reminder to believe in love.
Audrey and Lucy were both such wonderful characters who had similar journeys to get to where they needed to be. Watching Lucy especially grow into herself and find her voice felt incredibly relatable and deeply personal - it almost felt like reliving parts of my own life through a fresh set of eyes. In addition to these two swoon worthy main characters, there was also a cast of side characters that wormed their way into my heart as well.
While it worked for the story and I didn’t hate it, I personally felt that the explanation of the time slip/time travel was maybe the weakest part of the story. Don’t get me wrong, the reveal was cute and funny and totally made sense for the book. I think I was just hoping for something a little bit…more.
That being said, this book took my breath away and renewed my (wavering) belief and faith in love. And it also had one of the most cinematic and truly iconic scenes that I wish I could talk about but feels a bit spoiler-y so I won’t. But trust me when I saw it swept me off my feet and made me wish that I could live in that moment as either Audrey or Lucy.
(This has no bearing on my review, but it is my sworn duty to let you know that one of the audiobook narrators is Natalie Naudus who is one of my absolute favorite audiobook narrators. That is all.)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND PITTSBURGH by the incomparable Rachael Lippincott is available now and you can (and should!) pick up a copy for yourself here.
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."