A Modern Retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
by Curtis Sittenfeld
Reviewed by Lulu Hamdan
Whether or not you’ve read Jane Austin’s classic, Pride and Prejudice, Curtis Sittenfeld’s modern day version, Eligible, will have you hooked. It’s told in third person from the perspective of Liz Bennet, a journalist for a prestigious New York magazine and the second oldest of five Bennet sisters, who returns home to Cincinnati with her elder sister Jane after their father suffers a heart scare. The two arrive in time to meet the star of ‘Eligible’, a play-off of ‘The Bachelor’, Chip Bingley – who to the mother’s delight – falls for Jane at first sight. Liz’s own love life is in for a rollercoaster of a ride as she meets his neurosurgeon friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, who get off to a rocky start. While each of the five sisters find (and lose, and find again) love, scandalous secrets unfold…
The novel has a strong start, and while it becomes obvious that it is no match for the architectural masterpiece that is Austen’s original novel, it is a good beach read. Think ‘reality show’ rather than ‘classic novel’. You won’t mind getting sand all over it before passing it on to your sun-lounger buddy to take a nap. It’s a light read ideal for those who love a little chick lit on vacation. Happy reading!