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.