book review

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

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***ARC received from publisher via NetGalley***

What a cleverly done update to a classic! I don’t think that Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice needs further introduction, but if you’ve never read it or if you know nothing about it, you’re in luck. This book makes it so much easier to understand (though this isn’t to say you won’t enjoy P&P, because it’s definitely still worth a read).

Things I loved about it:

1. Curtis Sittenfeld pulls off a great adaptation. I agree with a Goodreads review by Tyler Goodson wherein he says that reading Eligible was like running into an old friend you haven’t seen in a while and realizing they’re still the same warm, smart, funny, wonderful person underneath their new haircut. The familiarity was comforting.

2. The language was much easier to digest without sacrificing tone and flow. I admit, I still had to look up some words, but this didn’t take me as long to read as P&P.

3. The tweaks were so creative! Though there is still some concern about spinsterhood, the focus shifted more towards the Bennet sisters’ biological clocks, which makes it a little more realistic this time around. Jane as a yoga instructor. Kitty and Lydia as CrossFit enthusiasts. Chip as a reality TV star. Heck, even splitting Wickham into two different characters served a purpose, specifically in justifying why eloping still brings shame or scandal in this day and age. It was definitely a carefully fleshed out retelling.

4. It was laugh-out-loud funny! I especially loved the little quips from Mr. Bennet. Just hilarious. It just a bit unfortunate that it felt like he fell off towards the end of the book.

5. Hate sex! Haha.. Oh, how I loved consuming the sexual tension between Liz and Darcy!

Overall, I think Curtis Sittenfeld was pretty successful in bringing this classic into this century. It was definitely a welcome re-acquaintance on my part.

Rating: 4 stars

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