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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Contemporary fiction

Eligible

by Curtis Sittenfeld

Quick take

Sittenfeld's version of the Austen classic features a lot less dancing and letter-writing than the original, and a lot more alcohol and sex.

Why I love it

Nina Sankovitch
Bestselling Author

Whenever I discuss Pride and Prejudice with a friend, the first question I ask is: "Jane or Elizabeth?" Whether a person favors Jane (sweetness and calm personified), or Elizabeth (tough as nails but with an aching heart – and loins) tells me a lot.

The same is the case for Eligible, written by the entertaining and clever Curtis Sittenfeld. In this contemporary retelling of the brewing behemoth of sexual desire that is Pride and Prejudice - let's not pretend otherwise - Liz Bennett has been modernized into a jaded 38-year-old magazine writer living in Brooklyn; her sister Jane is a yoga instructor, and her flame Mr. Darcy is a brain surgeon.

Sittenfeld's version of the Austen classic features a lot less dancing and letter-writing than the original, and a lot more alcohol and sex. But the path to true love remains - as always - bumpy. Liz and Darcy circle each other, in ways both expected and unexpected, and even Pride and Prejudice devotees will be captivated by their "will they or won't they?" games. Sounds perfect, right?

And perfect it absolutely is. A perfectly hilarious and engaging read that will send you back to thumb through Pride and Prejudice to check the corresponding details. But not until you've reached the satisfying and yet still surprising ending of Eligible. Love really does overcome all - even reality TV.

Sittenfeld offers a marvelous lesson about relationships: channeling Jane - the author, not the character - we can have it all: lust, love, friendship, and even a lasting détente with our families, to say nothing of our in-laws. And the "Elizabeth or Jane" test holds up perfectly for this modern adaptation. Those of you readers who identify with Elizabeth probably need to chill out a bit - don't be so judgmental! - and those of you who identify with Jane need to ease up on the yoga and try a bout of kickboxing. Readers of the world, get your Austen on.

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Member thoughts

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All (1090)
Love (580)
Like (424)
Dislike (86)
1131 ratings
  • 51% Love
  • 37% Like
  • 8% Dislike
  • Lewiston, ID

    I did not think I would enjoy this because it seemed like a parody, but I had so much fun. Slightly disappointed in some character descriptions. I got some good giggles out of it. And Darcy... Lovely!

  • Rochester, NY

    I'm a huge fan of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. This doesn't hold a candle to the original, but it was such an enjoyable and entertaining read. Finished it in one sitting and had all the feels

  • Allendale, NJ

    Delightful. Quick-Witted. Positively Enjoyable. This modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic honors the original while still having l a completely fresh story by incorporating 21st-century issues.

  • Franklin, WI

    Brilliant retelling! Finally, minor characters have a voice, and the interpretation rings true without sounding old-fashioned. Love, pride, money, scandal: everything that made Austen's good is here!

  • Pittsburgh , PA

    A modern and fun twist on Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice." Despite knowing the plot line, it was great reading about the Bennet sisters in modern day America. It was an easy and enjoyable read.

  • Hopkins, MN

    I had to set a lot of my feelings about the precious original P&P aside, but when I did so, it was interesting to see the story re-cast in a modern setting. Some choices I DEFINITELY disagreed with.

  • Whittier, CA

    Loved this retelling of Pride and Prejudice. I read one of the other books in this Austen Project series - Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. Eligible is my favorite in the series. Love Eligible!!!

  • Houston, TX

    I loved this modern twist on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. This was my first pick from BOTM and I dove in right away and couldn't put it down. The only downside was the ending. UM... Really??

  • Westport, NY

    This book inspired me to read P&P for the first time, introducing me to Jane Austen (now an all-time fave). I loved this modern retelling - unique enough to be captivating while true to its roots.

  • La Grange, IL

    I did not want to like this book but I did. Sittenfeld knew how to take a novel we know word by word and make it contemporary without feeling forced, making the characters we love fit the time.

  • Enterprise, AL

    I have been dying to read this book and it did not disappoint a die hard Jane Austen fan. It's a clever story that leaves you feeling almost the same as when you first read Pride & Prejudice.

  • Panorama City, CA

    I liked how it still felt familiar but was different from the classic. It didn't regurgitate the story scene by scene with changes in the details. I thought it was a funny and smart retelling.

  • Ithaca, NY

    A nice and faithful adaptation of Pride and Prejudice while reflecting modern sensibilities and charm. Loyal characters appropriately diverged from the original source to provide originality.

  • Sherman oaks , CA

    I love everything Curtis Sittenfeld has written, and Eligible was no different. I had just read P&P, so I loved seeing the similarities but she made it feel fresh and new, so I wasn't bored.

  • Summerville, SC

    Pride and Prejudice is one of my all time favorite books. I absolutely loved this modern retelling of this story. I loved all of the little details that really made this story what it was.

  • Westfield, MA

    I think if they used this version of Pride and Predjudice in schools kids would actually pay attention. There's nothing quite like discovering an old favorite brought up to current times.

  • Dayton, OH

    Love love love this book! It's at the top of my new favorites. A must read, fun, page turner. Great at the pool, beach or anywhere! I thoroughly enjoyed this and plan to read it again.

  • Livermore, CA

    Sittenfeld beautifully integrates current social issues into a classic without compromising Austen's plot or characters. Eligible brings a fresh, modern perspective to a classic novel.

  • Seaford, NY

    As a Pride and Prejudice fan, as well as a Jane Austin lover, I was truly excited for this modern novel version. Definitely didn't disappoint on this level and would highly recommend.

  • Los Angeles , CA

    Amazing. As a HUGE P&P fan, I thought Curtis Sittenfeld did an incredible job making the tale contemporary while also maintaining the heart of the original in both style and story.

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