Book Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Plot: 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.
Rating: 4/ 5 stars
Meet the modern day Elizabeth Bennet- in shorts and tank top with flip-flops
I doubt there would be any book reader out there who haven’t been smitten by Jane Austen or isn’t aware of her master piece, Pride and Prejudice. Almost half of the female reading population is an Austen fan and sort of having ideas and dreams about their own personal version of Mr. Darcy. Guess he might be single handedly responsible for making girls go for that mysterious and brooding and arrogant male species aka the bad boys . Either that or at least have made authors adopt one for their book, so in that regards Mr. Darcy might as well be the first of Fictional bad boys that made girls everywhere swoon. Anyways let us get away from fangirling on Darcy and get to the main point and that being the book “Eligible” which is a modern rendition of Pride and Prejudice and must say the author had used a very interesting and clever plot to move parallel with the classic story.
I had two troubles with the book. One that the whole book seems to run into snippets. If you are trying to catch a story with a beginning and middle and an end you might want to step back but at the same time its not haphazardly spread. The treatment of the book is more like episodically. Each chapter starts with its own theme and finishes with it though a basic theme keeps these chapters threaded. So for me personally who was looking forward to sequential story flow, this new treatment needed a bit time to get used to.
Second thing is the language. The language is ancient. Not that it was bad but I noticed an amusing thing that everything about the book remained thoroughly “English” yet the book is based and all about an American family. Hell the plot base is Cincinnati. There isn’t a single page or para in the book that wouldn’t make you feel that the book is completely “English” and that is why when anything American is said ..you sort of cringe
Its like Mc Donald suddenly serving Fish and Chips in a tail coat ..oh don’t forget the tea with two spoons of sugar..Darlings !!
What else can I crib about? Oh I guess that’s the extent of my nagging. I did find that the author modified each of the characters to be placed in the modern context beautifully and pretty cleverly and you could actually see and relate to the way the author has framed so in that regard I would say yeah it is definitely worth a try especially if you had loved the classic and wondered what would be Lizzy like in the modern day.