Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Series: The Austen Project #4 (4/?)
Published by Random House on April 19, 2016
Genres: [Adult] Contemporary, Retelling
3.5 Stars, Completed May 20, 2016
– SPOILER free –
My all time favorite classic (well tied with East of Eden) is Pride and Prejudice. I’ve rewatched the 2005 Keira Knightley film adaptation at least over a hundred times (no exaggeration-I’ve made my father, friends, and even acquaintances watch it with me). Don’t worry, I also adore the 1995 Jennifer Ehle BBC series (because, oh my, Colin Firth and his soaked shirt). And I’ve read all but one of Jane Austen’s work (I’ve can’t get through Emma for some reason). It may be obvious but I am one of Austen’s many superfans. Needless to say, I had extremely high expectations for this modern retelling and, thankfully, Eligible did an incredible job with satisfying those hopes (for the most part).
Eligible begins with Chip Bingley, Harvard graduate and practicing physician, as the talk of the town in the city of Cincinnati after folks learn that Chip will soon join the staff at Christ Hospital. He was the most recent bachelor on the reality TV show, “Eligible” (very similar to The Bachelor), but ended up choosing neither of the last two remaining women, meaning in Mrs. Bennet’s book he’s available for one of her girls. Also moving to Cincy for work is Chip’s best friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Stanford graduate and a neurosurgeon positioned at the stroke center. Jane Bennet is a sweet yoga instructor about to reach forty, and her younger sister, Liz Bennet, is a writer for the prominent feminist magazine, Mascara. Like Pride and Prejudice, Liz and Darcy find themselves involved in an unexpected romance despite their unfavorable first impressions. To find happiness together Darcy must move past his pride and Liz her prejudice.