Chicklit Club
 

CURTIS SITTENFELD

 

Eligible (2016)

 

Set between Cincinnati, New York and California, Eligible is a modern version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice: Lizzie Bennet is a journalist in her late thirties living in New York while Fitzpatrick Darcy is a renowned neurosurgeon who lives in Cincinnati. Lizzie and her sister Jane, who works as a yoga teacher, go back home to Cincinnati following their father’s heart attack and, during the 4th of July barbecue at the Lucases, they meet the handsome and reserved Darcy and his doctor friend Chip Bingley, who is experiencing his 15 minutes of fame after taking part in the Bachelor-like reality show, Eligible. Almost all characters in Pride and Prejudice are present in this modern version of the novel: Mary Bennet is earning her third online master degree; Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit regimes to worry about finding a job; Mr Collins is replaced by pompous Cousin Willie, a tech genius; Jasper Wick is Mr Wickham, a married journalist with whom Lizzie has a relationship; Charlotte is an overweight manager; and Mr Bennet is the same ironic and sarcastic character of the original novel. As a huge Pride and Prejudice fan, I was really looking forward to reading Eligible and I wasn’t disappointed: it is humorous, romantic, entertaining. With Sittenfeld the fourth author to update an Austen classic as part of the Austen Project, Eligible is a real page-turner and although I knew how it would end, I couldn’t put it down. (NP) 8/10

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