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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

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 Рand 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 d̩tente 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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879 ratings
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    May 2016