Thursday, August 4, 2016

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

According to the first line of Pride and Prejudice, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” In modern times, that equates to a stint as an eligible bachelor on a hit reality show (aptly named Eligible). At least it  does in the case of Chip Bingley, the handsome doctor and recent Cincinnati transplant that Mrs. Bennet just knows will be a perfect match for one of her daughters.

And so we meet the modern day Bennet clan, whose lives involve things like Cross Fit and Paleo (Lydia and Kitty), online degrees and clandestine Tuesday night outings (Mary), and a move to New York City for some much needed distance from the ever present family drama (Jane and Liz).

When Mr. Bennet suffers a health scare that forces the Bennet sisters under the same roof, tensions run high and the romantic scheming goes into full swing - beginning with a barbeque to meet the supremely marriageable Chip, who just so happens to have brought a friend.

All in all, an interesting take on a classic! Though true to the original story in many ways, Sittenfeld was not afraid to diverge from the source in some unexpected and interesting directions. Her modern day versions of the characters are entertaining and (at least to my mind) pretty spot on. The dialogue is witty and the story is fun and quirky. A perfectly delightful summer read.

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