Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, this is a version of the Bennet family that you may be familiar with. Liz is a magazine writer, who like her yoga instructor sister Jane, live in New York City. After their father suffers a health scare, they return to Cincinnati and their childhood home. Upon arrival they discover their childhood home is crumbling, and the family is on the verge of financial ruin. Despite this, Mrs. Bennet’s chief concern: how to marry off her daughter, especially as Jane’s 40th birthday is rapidly approaching. By pure chance Chip Bingley, a handsome doctor, has recently moved to Cincinnati. At a party, Chip immediately notices Jane, but Chip’s friend, a neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, butts heads with Liz. However, we all know that first impressions can be deceiving.


Pride and Prejudice is my absolute favorite, so I will always give an adaptation or retelling a chance. This was a part of The Austin Project, which enlisted best-selling authors to “modernize” Jane Austen’s beloved novels.

For me, it did take a little bit to get going, but once everything was established and the world had been built I had been sucked in. The author truly captured the feel of every character, and even though I knew the plot points that would be coming, I still couldn’t stop turning the page. The pace is breezy which is perfect. I did grow truly frustrated with Mrs. Bennet. I didn’t agree with the decision to make her into a homophobic, racist and anti-Semite person. Mrs. Bennet is a snob there is no doubt about that, but it made her unbearable.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I don’t think its a necessary book really because to me Pride and Prejudice is perfect and doesn’t need to be modernized. However, if you love Jane Austin you should definitely check it out.

RATING: 6/10

Now I’m going to go reread Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time!

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