Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Eligible is a Pride and Prejudice retelling set in modern times. Liz and Jane are living in New York when they receive a call telling them about their father’s recent heart attack. They come home to Cincinnati to learn that their childhood home is falling apart and so is their parent’s marriage. Lydia and Kitty are too busy with Crossfit and their Paleo obsession to move out and start their own lives while Mary is on her third Master’s program. Mrs. Bennet, of course, is only concerned with one thing—finding husbands for her daughters.
This retelling of the classic is absolutely delightful. It was witty and full of sarcastic remarks, mostly from Mr. Bennet, and it was a fun new take on the beloved story. Sittenfeld adds her own modern twists to the story by addressing certain social issues regarding feminism, racism, and the LGBT community.
Although I did really enjoy the story, I did find it a bit more difficult to connect with the characters, especially since they are a lot older in this retelling. However, it was defenitely made up for by the hilarious and sarcastic comments of Mr. Bennet:
“Plenty of men don’t want children.” Mr. Bennet took a sip of coffee. “I’m still not sure that I do.”
“Bernard! We’re mourning the death of manners and the rise of overly familiar discourse. How are you?”
“I’d volunteer to have a hit man off me, but our life insurance policies have lapsed, so I’d be of no more use dead than I am living.”
And here is a bit of feminist wisdom about love from Kathy de Bourgh (who is not awful in this retelling):
“There’s a belief that to take care of someone else, or to let someone else to take care of you – that both ate inherently unfeminist. I don’t agree. There’s no shame in devoting yourself to another person, as long as he devotes himself to you in return.”