Book Review - Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
I was a little skeptical of this book, I had heard about its release last year but I just wasn't sure about a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I actually ended up listening to this one via Audible and in the beginning I just wasn't getting into it. I felt like their manner of speaking hadn't changed from the original Pride and Prejudice but they were living in modern day Cincinnati - I wasn't convinced that people would actually speak like that today. It seemed unnatural like the author couldn't quite shed the original Pride and Prejudice and make it her own.
But as I kept reading, I found myself being drawn into the story and relating it less and less to the original Pride and Prejudice. So although Sittenberg kept the same names as the original Pride and Prejudice cast and their manner of speaking hearkened back to the original - the rest was truly modern and a fun retelling of this classic, beloved story. Liz and Jane both live in NYC, Liz is in her late 30s and writes for Mascara Magazine; Jane is a yoga instructor.
Kitty, Lydia, and Mary are still living in Cincinnatti, where the Bennett girls grew up. When their father has a health scare, the family is reunited in Cincinnatti in their old, crumbling Tudor mansion. Mrs. Bennett is entirely consumed by finding her daughters suitable husbands...Enter Chip Bingley and Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Chip recently appeared on the reality TV show, Eligible, where he was a bachelor looking for love. But it wasn't until the show wrapped and he met Jane at a 4th of July party did Chip find the love he was looking for. At the same party, Mr. Darcy (Chip's friend) met Liz but neither of them were quite as impressed with one another as Chip and Jane. But as we all know from the original Pride and Prejudice, first appearances can be deceiving.
I had so much fun reading this book! In the end I came around to the manner of speaking and I appreciated this nod to the original version of Pride and Prejudice. It always takes me a few chapters to get into the rhythm of the author's voice and lose myself in the story. This book was no different. The story was unique enough that I enjoyed the story on its own merit but similar enough to Pride and Prejudice to do the original story justice. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!