Eligible (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld
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.
Yes! This book is exactly what I was hoping for when I first heard about The Austen Project. I’m not sure I ever read the description for this book because I knew I wanted to read a modernization of Pride and Prejudice. Curtis Sittenfeld is a genius! I almost don’t want to say anything about this book because they details and the way she was able to modernize the plot completely blew me away. I could not put this book down, and I stayed up way to late reading two nights in a row. I know the plot of Austen’s original story so well, but this book kept me guessing, and it was just surprise after surprise with how she stayed true to the original and updated everything at the same time.
One major character is split into two people, but it really worked for me. For the most part, Curtis was spot on with the characters, but I was a little disappointed with her portrayal of Liz. I think she was generous with Darcy, but Liz was a little weaker than she aught to have been. That being said, it was absolutely delightful to get some of her thoughts and feelings as the relationship with Darcy develops. The book is written in third person, but from Liz’s POV. Since I am mostly a fan of the Keira Knightley movie, having only read the original book once or twice, it was a nice change to get some insider information on the romance.
If you’re a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I think this book is a must read!
My Rating: 5 Stars
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On the blog last year…