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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.… (més)
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2016 Reading Challenge ✔️ A book published this year
Fun--fun to read, fun waiting to see how Sittenfeld translates characters and plot twists to 2013 US. ( )
  giovannaz63 | Jan 18, 2021 |
Kudos to Ms. Sittenfeld for delivering an excellent modern adaptation of the classic Pride and Prejudice, which I am sure was a daunting task! Part of “The Austen Project” which pairs six bestselling contemporary authors with Jane Austen’s six complete works, Eligible is the most recent title published after Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollop, Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, and Emma by Alexander McCall Smith.

There have been a number of other prequels, sequels, movies and adaptations to, arguably, Ms. Austen’s most famous novel. I am very impressed with how Ms. Sittenfeld was able to capture the character traits of each of the major players and keep some of the dialogue and diction consistent with the original, as well – especially the hilarious comments made by Mr. Bennett! In this adaptation Elizabeth is a magazine editor who has been in a long-term relationship with the married Jasper Wick. She and Jane, who is a yoga instructor, both live in New York and agree to travel to the Bennett family home, set in modern day Cincinnati, Ohio, to care for their father who recently had heart surgery. Mrs. Bennett’s frivolousness, Lydia and Kitty’s uselessness, Mary’s extreme misanthropy, and Jane’s humility and goodness all shine through, like the original characters. Darcy is just as awkward and egotistical, and is modernized by being brain surgeon at a local hospital. The title, Eligible, is derived from a “Bachelor” – like TV show on which Chip Bingley agrees to appear prior to the opening of the story. There are many differences, of course, as would be needed in a contemporary adaptation, especially Lizzy and Darcy being able to work out their tension with “hate sex, “ which would not have been appropriate in the time of the original text!

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and will add it to other adaptations the next time I put up my library display called “For Fans of Jane Austen.” I applaud Ms. Sittenfeld for thoroughly modernizing this tale, yet keeping the characters and story-line consistent to the original. A charming and engaging read!

( )
  KellyWellRead | Dec 17, 2020 |
Curtis Sittenfield had an impossible task before her: breathe new life into Jane Austen's mega-beloved classic, Pride and Prejudice; remain faithful to the original text; and not pedantically patchwrite Ms. Austen's style while still retaining the snarky, playful fun that makes the prose the absolute damn best part of the novel. And she pretty much nails it.

Eligible is a Pride and Prejudice for a twenty-first century audience. It discusses reality TV, the realities of being single in 2013, LGBT issues, and the modern family. People have sex, and there's no slut-shaming or scandals. It is so thoroughly modern and yet it goes back to the roots of what makes Pride and Prejudice relatable and timeless. And it's a lot of FUN to read. The book is dense but rich, and while the details occasionally threaten to overtake the story, Sittenfield reins in her writing just enough to keep the plot moving forward. I recommend this book, and if you're an open-minded Austen fan, you'll probably enjoy it. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
I’m very confused by this one—I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was jarring and strange and I liked very few people the whole time. Though I think that is actually an excellent adaptation of Austen’s central point. ( )
  askannakarenina | Sep 17, 2020 |
I’m very confused by this one—I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was jarring and strange and I liked very few people the whole time. Though I think that is actually an excellent adaptation of Austen’s central point. ( )
  askannakarenina | Sep 17, 2020 |
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WELL BEFORE HIS arrival in Cincinnati, everyone knew that Chip Bingley was looking for a wife.
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"Everything tends toward entropy, my dear. It's the second law of thermodynamics."
"Do you ever pass up a chance to use a big word?" Lydia replied. "Or do you find that circumlocution always magnifies life's conviviality?"
"Stop quarreling, girls," Mrs. Bennet said. "It's unbecoming." ¶ "They'd never speak to one another otherwise," Mr. Bennet said.
Mr. Bennet stood, dropping his napkin on the table. "As interesting as I find this conversation, an urgent matter has come up. I need a hamburger." ¶ Simultaneously, Liz said, "Dad, you can't drive," and Jane said, "Dad, you can't eat red meat." ¶ Mr. Bennet gestured toward his plate, atop which sat moderate portions of lentil stew prepared by Jane and salad prepared by Liz. "This is unacceptable," he said. "I'm not a small woodland creature. Lizzy, we're going to Zip's."
"If your mother and I lived somewhere smaller, we might have to actually see each other."
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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.

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