Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice opens, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Molly Pohlig’s debut novel The Unsuitable stands as a direct refutation. Set contemporaneously to Austen, the novel tells the story of Iseult Wince, a twenty-eight year old woman whose father wants to marry her off and be rid of her.
Iseult doesn’t want to be married. She’s driven away the suitors her father has invited to dinner for a decade. There are so many Iseult needs a journal to tell them apart. Her success is genuinely funny to read about because, “Iseult derived a real satisfaction from causing a true, panicky silence.” As repulsive as her behavior is, her circumstances scare suitors off as well.