Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

My book funk continued through the spring and I didn’t mean to leave posting for so long! I’m taking advantage of a rainy Canada Day at the cottage to get back at it!

Although I didn’t read as much this spring as I usually do, I did read a couple of great books and Eligible was one of them. I was excited to learn that it was coming out as I read Sittenfeld’s Prep a couple years ago and really enjoyed it (it’s worth a read). And as a bonus, it’s a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Confession, I didn’t actually read Pride and Prejudice but I really enjoy the story. And Eligible delivered in a big way.

The Bennet family is back but this story takes place in modern day Cincinnati. Liz and her sister Jane move back to Cincinnati from New York for the summer when their father falls ill. It gives their mother, Mrs. Bennet an opportunity to continue her misguided quest to get all five of her daughters married. That quest starts out at a BBQ where an eligible bachelor named Chip, a doctor who appeared on a show called “Eligible” – imagine the Bachelor – is introduced to the who’s who of Cincinnati. It’s also where Liz meets Fitzwilliam Darcy for the first time.

As you can imagine when the most eligible man in Cincinnati appeared on a matchmaking reality program, hijinks ensued and Sittenfeld brings some great new magic to such a classic story! There is romance and what might be the opposite of it, cross fit and paleo diets, a surprise pregnancy, a long affair and lots of family drama. If you enjoyed the original and are open to a re-telling, Eligible is definitely worth reading. And if you haven’t, I think you’ll enjoy it just the same.

Given that it’s Canada Day and the summer has officially begun, I would also say that this one is a great beach or dock read, enjoyed with your favourite summer beverage and some sunscreen.

Enjoy!

K

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