A futuristic, dystopian retelling of Pride and Prejudice.
After crop failures, population declines, and a pandemic, life on the planet has stabilized. LizE Ben has a new job at the Netherfield Institute, working with her sister Juno. The Institute’s goal is to help identify and propagate native plants in the wake of crop failures and other environmental disasters. A young investor, Chaz Bingley, comes to town, interested in helping to fund the Institute. LizE’s workaholic sister is smitten when they meet at the Harvest Gala, but LizE has a run-in with another man, Will Darcy, over California wines.
LizE focuses on work, but her path keeps crossing Will’s; each time they meet, she finds more reasons to dislike him. When Juno falls ill and is quarantined (per health regulations), LizE has to endure five days in the same house with Will. She thinks him stuck-up and proud despite being the CEO of Darcy Rail and with access to services mere scientists couldn’t imagine, like traveling via air.
She doesn’t find much to like about him and would be surprised to learn that Will has fallen in love with her. He finds her different from other women, even impertinent. But he thinks she is beneath him, so holds his tongue and never says anything. LizE is pleased when Will and Chaz leave—though Chaz breaks Juno’s heart in the process.
But they meet again when LizE has the opportunity for fieldwork. Her foolish cousin married a friend, and the couple invites her to stay. But the estate that LizE works on happens to belong to Will’s aunt, and they run into each other. This time, Will can’t hold back a declaration of love.
© 2020 Anne Morris
Excerpt from 2067.
A Note Concerning Pandemics and Other Topics