Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride & Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld (Book Review)

Disclosure of material connection- I received a copy of the book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was not required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are 100% my own

About the book-

From the “wickedly entertaining” (USA Today) Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Prep and American Wife, comes a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Equal parts homage to Jane Austen and bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.
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.
Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen's beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

My thoughts- 

I am definitely your typical literary geek obsessed with all things Jane Austen, particular things Pride & Prejudice related, more particularly things Mr. Darcy related. I will literally read any take on my absolute favorite classic romance. It is fun to see it re-imagined with a fresh voice, and in Eligible it is interesting to see it through a modern tale. I couldn't believe how witty and fun this book was, while still catching the essence of all of the characters from the original novel. I liked that to modernize the story there were some necessary changes made to the characters and interesting new plot points that still manage to fit into the parameter of Austen's novel. My only complaint is regarding Liz and Darcy's relationship. There just isn't the right amount of romance for my taste. Their story was still told well and built up in the right way, but I found the book lacking in this department. I still enjoyed the book and thought Curtis Sittenfeld did an excellent job re-telling the story. I would recommend this book to Jane Austen lovers, obviously, but I would also recommend it to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance stories. 

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