Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Somewhere along the line I missed the memo that Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible was a modern take on Pride and Prejudice – yep I missed the fact it said this on the cover and still didn’t twig when reading the blurb about Jane and Liz. Considering I wrote about Pride and Prejudice in my dissertation I am slightly concerned about myself.
Anyway, Eligible is a fun and frothy update on Jane Austen’s classic for the 21st Century.
There’s single Jane who is going through IVF in her bid to get pregnant. She then meets Chip Bingley – star of tv show Eligible (pretty much the same as The Bachelor) and after a rocky start they fall in love and conduct their marriage ceremony in front of the camera for a special episode of Eligible.
There’s Mary, and because she’s as quiet as a mouse everyone thinks she’s a lesbian. However she’s actually studying and is also part of a bowling team (!).
Kitty cannot live without WiFi and relies on her parents for everything. She eventually starts a manicuring business.
Kitty’s partner in crime Lydia married CrossFit trainer Ham (who is based on Mr Wickham), who is turns out is transgender.
And of course there’s Liz, a magazine journalist who’s relationship with Jason is doomed from the off. Then she meets Mr Darcy, also seemingly doomed from the start, but we all know how it ends.
Mr and Mrs Bennett are as comical as Austen’s portrayal. Living a champagne lifestyle with mounting debts, Liz convinces them to sell their sprawling home.
There are moments of pure hilarity namely Liz and Jane trying to explain to Mr and Mrs Bennett what transgender.
For true Austen lovers this book will bring tears to your eyes but I think Sittenfeld has created a great update for the 21st century. Yes at times it’s farcical but it’s easy reading and will definitely put a smile on your face.