Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld


By Curtis Sittenfeld

  • Release Date: 2016-04-19
  • Genre: Literary
Eligible book review score

4 Score: 4 (From 477 Ratings)

Eligible Curtis Sittenfeld Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible tackles gender, class, courtship, and family as Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.


This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.

Praise for Eligible

“Even the most ardent Austenite will soon find herself seduced.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Blissful . . . Sittenfeld modernizes the classic in such a stylish, witty way you’d guess even Jane Austen would be pleased.”People (book of the week)

“[A] sparkling, fresh contemporary retelling.”Entertainment Weekly

“[Sittenfeld] is the ideal modern-day reinterpreter. Her special skill lies not just in her clear, clean writing, but in her general amusement about the world, her arch, pithy, dropped-mike observations about behavior, character and motivation. She can spot hypocrisy, cant, self-contradiction and absurdity ten miles away. She’s the one you want to leave the party with, so she can explain what really happened. . . . Not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted. . . . Sittenfeld writes so well—her sentences are so good and her story so satisfying. . . . As a reader, let me just say: Three cheers for Curtis Sittenfeld and her astute, sharp and ebullient anthropological interest in the human condition.”—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review

“A clever, uproarious evolution of Austen’s story.”The Denver Post

“If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming.”Elle

“A playful, wickedly smart retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”BuzzFeed

“Sittenfeld is an obvious choice to re-create Jane Austen’s comedy of manners. [She] is a master at dissecting social norms to reveal the truths of human nature underneath.”—The Millions

“A hugely entertaining and surprisingly unpredictable book, bursting with wit and charm.”The Irish Times

“An unputdownable retelling of the beloved classic.”PopSugar

Eligible book review; book recommendations; Literary books;.

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User reviews about this book

  • Eligible

    By H2word fan
    Kept me wanting to know more!
  • Enjoyable

    By solitaire syl
    A most enjoyable take on Pride and Prejudice, ingeniously updated for the 21st century. I especially liked Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. For these Bennet women, it’s more about finding happiness than a respectable place in society and a means of survival, which was the case for Austin’s characters. Less is at stake, and that’s a problem for anyone taking on Austin’s masterpiece
  • Disappointment

    By Spiffandbiff
    I heard an interview with the author on the New Yorker podcast, and expected a witty reimagining of P&P. Something like an American Bridget Jones’ Diary. I was expecting clever. There is no clever here. At times I imagined that perhaps the author is in on how insipid and self-congratulatory Liz is, but that’s more my hopeful side. I don’t mind crass, in fact I like well-done crass. But this is just lazy. I heartily regret my wasted $13. Two stars because it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever read, just the worst thing I’ve paid for.
  • Hilarious adaptation

    By SeriouslySnapeAlwaus
    I loved Ms. Sittenfeld's version of Pride and Prejudice. I thought it was a refreshing change of pace from the usual storylines & settings that most re-told stories have. Modernizing it, inserting great comical dialogue, as well as keeping the traditional text alive makes this book a wonderful read. Anyone who loves Jane Austen should give this a try😊.
  • Eligible

    By Jasmyn9
    This has to be one of the best Pride and Prejudice re-tellings I've read. The Bennet family is perfect, set in their ways and determined to go about as usual. Mr. Bennet is priceless. His dry wit and off-hand humor was amazing and spot on. In fact, all the characters were portrayed in a way that kept true to the original, but still updated them to our contemporary time. Liz and Mr. Darcy - the classic romance - can definitely hold its own in a contemporary settings. The tension, the fights, the misunderstandings, all laid out perfectly for the modern times. I loved their interactions and banter. The "hate sex" was a great addition that really portrayed their relationship well. I think I desperately need to go and read the rest of The Austen Project series. If they are as good as this one, I know I'll be in for a good time.
  • Pure Entertainment

    By Toni FGMAMTC
    This was pretty entertaining. I enjoyed noticing each way that the author made the characters modern and different from their original counterparts. The father was a hoot for sure. The author did a great job of fitting all the drama from the current era.
  • Eligible

    By PattiA810
    This is a very good re-telling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. This 21st century adaptation of this story is extremely clever in addressing many of this generation’s "issues" without compromising the original premise and characters. I am really impressed with this new version. I enjoyed it as much as the original.
  • Read this

    By Amanda828637282
    Very well-written, intriguing yet intelligent book.
  • Wonderful Retelling!

    By jenna-marie
    One of the best books I've read in a long time. I want to stay in this world with this family forever.
  • Way way way too much sex!

    By Zoe @ Blessed and Bewildered
    I was so excited at the description of Eligible. Jane Austen is one of my all-time favorite authors so when I saw a book that was a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice I had to snatch up a review copy. Unfortunately Eligible fell short of my expectations. "Jane Austen was a revolutionary author. Her mode of writing, satire, served her a dual purpose. Satire was in vogue at the time she began writing, but it also gave her a chance to criticize her society covertly. In her major novels, Jane Austen reveals to us the foolishness of the prejudices about women that were prevalent in her society and attacks society's prejudices and faults through irony and satire. Austen shows us how blind society was to its own faults, including its attitudes toward women, in particular. Austen's novels are packed with social commentary." Source: Emporia State University In contrast to Austen’s criticism of society, Curtis Sittenfeld's Eligible seems to revel in it. Eligible portrays in full detail the "modern" attitude towards sex, marriage, etc. To her credit, Sittenfeld does point out the excesses of the wealthy but she doesn't have the gravitas of Austen. I must say that I only made it through chapter twenty-three, 17% of the book. As such, it is possible that Sittenfeld more critically addresses these issues within the remainder of the book. I gave up reading because I couldn't handle any more adulatory, sex on the first date, and what felt like an overwhelming slate of unbiblical actions. Austen is unique. Her quick wit, sharp insight, and deep emotional intelligence brought life to her novels. A hard act to follow. I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher. For all of my reviews visit my blog at www (dot) blessedandbewildered (dot) com

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