I grabbed Eligible without even looking at what it is about simply because I love Curtis Sittenfeld. She’s smart and funny. But i have to admit i was a little bit disappointed once i realized that Eligible is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I mean, hasn’t that been done before, like, to death? And the horrible truth is, I’m not a huge Jane Austen fan.
But quite frankly, P&P in the hands of Sittenfeld is unabashedly brilliant. I freakin’ loved it. Set in Cincinnati, Eligible picks up on all the good, the bad and the ugly of 21st century middle America. From Cross-Fit and Paleo to reality based TV shows, Eligible has it all. But more importantly it has the wry sense of humour and tone that made P&P such a great comedy of manners to begin with. In fact, it has even made me reconsider reading Austen, something I haven’t done since my late teens!
Who would like this book? By all means Austen-ites will love Eligible, but it’s appeal will spread way beyond that demographic. In fact, it is now my go-to book when people ask me what they should be reading. It has the right amount of romance without diluting the female characters into weepy, agency lacking sops. It has humour that also provides social commentary. And the chapters are nice and short which makes Eligible a real page turner. Way to go Sittenfeld, you’ve done it again!
And just in case you’re looking for more Sittenfeld to read, may i suggest American Wife and Prep, my two favorites of her books.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley.
I’m not a massive fan of Jane Austen or P&P but I loved this version. I also haven’t read any other re-tellings but I think this book got the perfect blend of staying true to the original while making it completely modern. I flew through the book, couldn’t put it down and am recommending it to all my customers and co-workers.
And so many different kinds of people will like it. Such a great book.
Thanks for the reassurance, Tanya. I dislike tribute novels but I’m a keen Sittenfeld fan so was very disappointed when I found out Eligible that was what Eligible was.
Seriously, I almost didn’t read it, but I’m so glad I did. It’s one of my favourite books of2016.
Blimey, that’s quite a recommendation!
I love that you said blimey!
Should have put a ‘Cor’ in front of it for the full effect!
I’ve been waiting to hear about this book – I feel as wary about it as you did. So glad you loved it!
Ohh so glad this book came through! I had liked her book Prep a lot but was wary too of this one. Hooray for Sittenfeld !
I’m glad to hear you liked this one! I have only read Prep by Sittenfeld so far.
I haven’t yet read a Jane Austen novel however there are several on my shelf. I am now excited to read both this novel and some of Austen’s too! Thank you! 🙂
You should do P&P and Eligible back to back and see how they compare. I barely remember p&p it’s been so long since I read it.
Yes good idea! Aha maybe it is time you read it again. Thank you 🙂
I’m in complete agreement- I thought it was appalling and hilarious. Sittenfeld captured what is most entertaining and distressing about modern culture.
Great cultural commentary. Just like Jane austen.
Retellings tend to be a hit or miss for me but this book sounds great! I actually haven’t read anything by Curtis Sittenfeld but I’ll keep a lookout for this title 😉
I really like Sittenfeld. Smart without making me think too much
I’m hoping to pick this up soon and so glad to hear it was good! I love retellings done well, but am always nervous about how well classics I love will be handled by new-to-me authors.
And it is done so well.
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