Friday, 16 June 2017

#bookreview ~ Eligible #JaneAusten #mustread @csittenfeld



Curtis Sittenfeld

The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City.

Liz and Jane are good daughters. They’ve come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home, and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.

Once they are under the same roof, old patterns return fast. Soon enough they are being berated for their single status, their only respite the early morning runs they escape on together. For two successful women in their late thirties, it really is too much to bear. That is, until the Lucas family’s BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men . . .

Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he’s a reality TV star too. But Chip's friend, haughty neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants. Jane is entranced by Chip; Liz, sceptical of Darcy. As Liz is consumed by her father’s mounting medical bills, her wayward sisters and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn’t only the local chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.

But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways. And from the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.

What did I think of the Book?

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

When Liz and Jane Bennet received a phone call informing them of their father’s ill health, neither thought twice about getting on the next plane to Cincinnati. If only they knew about the curveballs that life was going to suddenly throw at them…!

Jane had not expected that her trip home would mean she would meet the love of her life. Jane is instantly smitten with the charming doctor/reality TV star, Chip Bingley and who could blame her? Chip is charming, funny and nice. If only his best friend, Fitzwilliam Darcy, had a little more of his good humour.

Liz had never met such a disagreeable man as Darcy. He was everything she hated —pretentious, rude and arrogant. So why does her heart flutter just a little when he looks her way?

I am a big Jane Austen fan, and I was looking forward to reading Curtis Sittenfeld’s modern take on Austen’s classic work, Pride and Prejudice. I was not disappointed. Eligible is a fast paced read that follows the plot of Pride and Prejudice quite closely, with a few very modern day twists.

I adored the characterisation of Liz. She is a very strong-willed woman, in her late 30’s, who is very career oriented. Her love life, however, resembles something of a train-wreck. She longs to be in a caring relationship with a man she loves and who loves her in return, but instead, she is in a relationship with a man who is married and, as it turns out, has a very questionable past.

When Liz returned to her families home to help care for her sick father, she never expected to meet a man such as Darcy. Initially, she finds him repulsive, but as she gets better acquainted with him, she begins to wonder if maybe she had just found her soul mate.

 Eligible is such an enjoyable read, with many unexpected plot twists. Ms Sittenfeld’s has successfully kept the spirit of Pride and Prejudice alive. All of the characters were portrayed in the way I expected them to be depicted. Mr Bennet is the long-suffering father, who will do anything for a quiet life. Mrs Bennet can only think of social engagement and marrying her daughters (who are a lot older in this book, then in Austen’s classic). Lydia and Kitty are just as I imagined them to be — they are giggly, rude and very much into CrossFit! Mary is still the studious one, but has swapped the piano for a PHD. Jane is sweet and desperate for a family. Bingley has a gorgeous and lovable personality. Darcy is portrayed just as he should be (I still picture Colin Firth when I think of him!) and Mr Collins is a computer wiz!

I am not too sure what Jane Austen would have made of this book, but I certainly enjoyed it.  Bravo, Ms Sittenfeld.

I Highly Recommend.

* I  received a copy of this book from the Publishers, via NetGalley, for review consideration.*

Links for Purchase

About the author

Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of the novels Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, and Sisterland, which have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her nonfiction has been published widely, including in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Glamour, and broadcast on public radio’s This American Life. A native of Cincinnati, she currently lives with her family in St. Louis.

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