A NovelBook - 2016
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.
Praise for Eligible
"Even the most ardent Austenite will soon find herself seduced." -- O: The Oprah Magazine
"Blissful . . . Sittenfeld modernizes the classic in such a stylish, witty way you'd guess even Jane Austen would be pleased." -- People (book of the week)
"[A] sparkling, fresh contemporary retelling." -- Entertainment Weekly
"A clever, uproarious evolution of Austen's story." -- The Denver Post
"If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming." -- Elle
"Sittenfeld is an obvious choice to re-create Jane Austen's comedy of manners. [She] is a master at dissecting social norms to reveal the truths of human nature underneath." --The Millions
"A hugely entertaining and surprisingly unpredictable book, bursting with wit and charm." -- The Irish Times
"A delightful romp for not only Austen devotees but also lovers of romantic comedies and sly satire, as well . . . Bestselling Sittenfeld plus Jane Austen? What more could mainstream fiction readers ask for?" -- Booklist (starred review)
"Endlessly amusing . . . Her take on Austen's iconic characters is skillful, her pacing excellent, and her dialog highly entertaining. . . . Austen fans will adore this new offering, a wonderful addition to the genre." -- Library Journal
"An unputdownable retelling of the beloved classic." -- PopSugar
"Sittenfeld adeptly updates and channels Austen's narrative voice--the book is full of smart observations on gender and money. . . . A clever retelling of an old-fashioned favorite." --Publishers Weekly
"The modernization of this classic story allows for a greater and more humorous range of incompetency and quirks. . . . Delight in this tale for its hilarious and endearing family drama." -- Kirkus Reviews
From the critics
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Fourth book in the Austen Project, Curtis Sittenfeld brings us a modern retelling of Jane Austens’ Pride and Prejudice, and transports us both time and place to the United States in the 21st century. Liz Bennet is a magazine writer in New York, who, like her older Yoga instructor sister Jane, is in her late thirties. They are called home to Cincinnati when their father has a health scare and discover their childhood home crumbling and family in disarray. Liz and Jane decide to stay home to help take care of their father, while Mrs. Bennet is busy planning and organizing a social event for her Ladies group, and worrying about getting her daughters married. The youngest sisters are too busy to get jobs let alone help out at home. Kitty and Lydia are occupied with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets, while Mary is holed up in her room earning her third degree online.
At a Fourth of July barbeque hosted by the Lucases, the Bennet’s are introduced to Chip Bingley, a doctor who recently was on the reality dating show Eligible, and his friend Mr. Darcy - a neurosurgeon who also works at the same hospital. On first impressions, Chip and Jane take an immediate interest in each other, while Darcy reveals himself to be less than charming, to an eavesdropping Liz.
Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy Sittenfeld’s hilarious modern adaptation of a beloved classic, tackling gender, class, courtship and family. Readers will enjoy the authors’ leisurely pace and snarky banter between Liz and Darcy as well as a few plot surprises!
Shelf Life Review in the Stratford Gazette May 2016
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