Look ma, no hands; writing again

Here's an excerpt from chapter one of About Face, piloted on Goodreads. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has been revamped to redundancy, but seeing as it's such a classic, versatile storyline, I had to give it a shot. Plus, it'll be an interesting exercise; the closest I've gotten to writing with an outline. Well then, let me entertain you, and tell me in the comments below whether or not I should continue this disaster.

Sitting on the balcony opposite his wife smoking a Marlboro was Hugh Tarlow, greying hair aside, he looked not a day older than 40. Nonetheless, he had decided, upon his fiftieth birthday, to retreat from the limelight, much to Jocelyn’s dismay. Truthfully, Hugh was not a complicated man. He enjoyed sex and lavishing his wife in expensive gifts. He did his own bills, so he knew their financial circumstances, but he lived in the moment. He would not say it as extravagantly as she, but he loved those girls who had become a part of his life in the last couple of years. Hugh had never had children of his own to mentor and spoil.

“Oh, I wish there was something we could do,” his wife whined melodramatically. She was a petite Korean-American woman who was now tugging the steam curls out of her auburn hair. He was convinced she was the real deal. “If only that Boule girl had tried a little harder to make things work with that bastard.”

“I daresay Miss Boule has done a great deal already, my dear.” He tracked her agitated movements over the top of his newspaper, today’s issue of the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve repeated this many times before: perhaps if our girls put out a little less, promoted themselves more respectably—”

“They could make a living by playing boring, uptight lawyers in biographical films for the rest of their lives.” She rolled her eyes. “We’ve one girl destined for such already.”

“Blythe is something special, is she not?”

Jocelyn gasped. “How can you pick favourites this way?” Her tone held the slightest hint of jealousy. “Blythe has nary but a formal education to her name, and a questionable one at that! Why, each has their own weapon: Sasha, her beauty; Shay, her charm; Nelly, her innocence.”

“And what of Clare will you offer, her aloofness?”

“Nay, it gives her a certain air.” She made a circle with her arms, like a ballerina.

“I pray you are not selling Elinor’s innocence. God knows this industry.” He shook his head, tapping his cigarette on the crystal ashtray.