Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Title: Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, Author: Curtis SittenfeldEligible. Finished 5-15-16, rating 4/5, romance, 492 pages, pub. 2016

A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.      from Goodreads

I read this book for book club and, as luck would have it, Curtis spoke at a local library a week before our meeting. She was funny and charming and those of us that attended really liked her.  I waited until after meeting her to start reading the book and am glad I did.  She stressed that this was a fun ‘romp’ not an exact retelling of Pride & Prejudice.  This helped frame the book and that description was used a few times at our book group meeting.  Everyone really liked it. Here I am with Curtis…

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As for the story itself, it was good, but I did have one major issue from the beginning.  Elizabeth had spent most of her adult life involved with a married man.  It just didn’t mesh with my vision of Lizzie and it took me a while to get past it.  Sittenfeld did a good job of making Pride & Prejudice ultra modern.  She took on hoarding, reality tv, artificial insemination, transgenders.  Hardly a current hot button issue not included.

There was chemistry between Liz & Darcy, and Liz’s family was something to behold. A modern, beach romp for sure and P&P fans will enjoy visiting with old friends.

 

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