I love Darcy.
There is always that one book hunk that stays with you and follows you as you grow up. It was always the dashing-snobbish-oh-so-clever Fitzwilliam Darcy. I have the book in many different formats and all the different movies: Bride and Prejudice, Bridget Jones Diary (and book), Lost in Austen, Austenland (love the book too), Pride and Prejudice miniseries (Colin Firth) and Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley. I may be obsessed with this book.
I dive into any new take on Pride and Prejudice. Some have been great while others have been less satisfying. Eligible is a wonderful modern take on this classic. I couldn’t put it down! Let’s take a look at Eligible.
- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Random House (April 19, 2016)
- Language: English
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and ha
ven’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 t
eir 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.
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There will always be one Pride & Prejudice. There’s no disputing that. Jane Austen can’t be outdone but there are a few stories out there that have resonated with me. Eligible was one of the better Pride & Prejudice adaptions I have read. And I have read a lot.
Eligible brings Elizabeth, Jane, Darcy, Bingley and the rest of the gang into the 21st century in a humorous story. The characters still have their wonderful personalities but are updated into our world. Liz is a journalist, Jane is a yoga teacher trying to have a baby by IVF and Darcy and Bingley are surgeons. There are plenty of surprising twist that take the characters off course from what we know.
Sittenfeld did a wonderful job at modernizing the social aspect of Pride and Prejudice with CrossFit devotees, yoga, reality television and much more. There are still the social status issues and prejudice you find in the original with just a few little surprises here and there. I love that Kitty and Lydia have potty mouths. I can totally see them this way.
The only problem I had was the Wickham character Jasper. He was the only character that didn’t feel true to the original and I had a hard time believing his faults. I really didn’t like his backstory either. It just didn’t seem to fit. But overall it didn’t take me from the story. I was invested from the start.
Once I started reading I couldn’t put this book down. This is an engaging book that had my attention right away. It was an exciting retelling of my most favorite story full of wit and clever dialogue. The pace was fast and the words still reminiscent of Austen, which kept me entertained
Should you read this? Yes! It’s a delightful modern take on Pride & Prejudice with great humor. It was fun to see all the characters living in modern America and the mayhem that follows. I highly recommend it if you love the original!