Oops… I did it again. Oh well. I’m back.
A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
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.
*spoilers if you have not read Pride and Prejudice*
So this one is hard. I’m a massive P&P fan and I’ve been waiting to read this book for ages. The reviews got me all hyped up…….
….. and I was slightly let down.
While the author definitely stayed true to the original characters and accurately adapted them to the contemporary world, it just didn’t work. What I found endearing about the Bennets in the original was lacking in Eligible. Lizzy, the independent, smart-mouth woman from P&P was replaced with a naive woman, who judges her family way too much and occasionally says problematic stuff herself.
“It was immediately obvious to Liz that Georgie was anorexic.”
LIKE HOW DO YOU KNOW?
“Does he have a fake penis?” (She was asking about a transgender character.)
HOW IS THIS ANY OF YOUR BUSINESS AGAIN?!
But not to trash Liz entirely, sometimes she stepped it up and was a badass – especially when it came to Darcy. The only thing that was interesting about Darcy though, was his romance with Liz. That’s it. Nothing else. Nada. And by the end, he said shit like, “Even when you’re judging them, you do it with such care and attention.” (about Liz). HJDJHSGDFHWEGHGBJHY, SERIOUSLY?
Speaking of boring – Jane, Kitty, Mr Bennet and Chip Bingley were almost unbearable at times and their presence did not give much to the storyline. Mostly, they just dragged the book. Lydia on the other hand was intriguing and she was probably my favourite character in Eligible. If you are considering reading this book, do it for Lydia.
Unfortunately, the book itself was a bit too long and lots of the parts could have been cut. It was not a bad read, I was quite enjoying it up until the last 20% when Liz started saying problematic things and everything just got real cheesy way too quick. Instead of blabbering on about Jane and Bingley, the book would have been much better with less rushed ending of Liz and Darcy.
The verdict? Read it if you like P&P. Otherwise, it’s a waste of time.