Eligible

Eligible

by Curtis Sittenfeld

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Overview

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

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.

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE TIMES (UK)

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812980349
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/18/2017
Pages: 528
Sales rank: 36,153
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

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.

Hometown:

Washington, D.C.

Date of Birth:

August 23, 1975

Place of Birth:

Cincinnati, Ohio

Education:

B.A., Stanford University, 1997; M.F.A., University of Iowa (Iowa Writers¿ Workshop), 2001

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 11
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Eligible"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Curtis Sittenfeld.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. 1. Eligible is a modern adaptation of the classic novel Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Why is this story such a timeless favorite?

2. Which of the sisters do you most identify with, and why? Did that change at all over the course of the novel?

3. Were you surprised by Darcy and Liz having “hate sex”? Did it make the novel more or less enjoyable for you?

4. What prejudices does Curtis Sittenfeld explore in this adaptation? How do they differ from the prejudices of Austen’s time?

5. To what extent do you think the portrayal of modern courtship and mar- riage in this novel is realistic? Do you think Mrs. Bennet’s concern over her daughters’ remaining unmarried into their late thirties is common, or is this an outdated perspective?

6. The title Eligible comes from the fictional reality television show Chip Bingley appears on. What do you think the novel has to say about reality TV? Would you go on a show like Eligible?

7. On p. 305, Kathy de Bourgh tells Liz, “There’s a belief that to take care of someone else, or to let someone else take care of you—that both are inher- ently 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.” Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment?

8. If you’ve read Pride and Prejudice, do you think it is a feminist novel? Is
Eligible?

9. The novel closes with Mary’s perspective. Why do you think Curtis Sit- tenfeld chose to conclude the novel with her? How does the choice change your perspective on preceding events?

10. What would Jane Austen think of Eligible?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Eligible: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess it was a bit more vulgar than I expected or preferred. I also felt the last two chapters ruined it a bit. At the same time, I couldn't put it down! So, I gave it a four.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not your typical Pride and Prejudice but a fun book to read. Read it in a day and laughed at some of the passages. I like this unusual P & P. Read and enjoy. Would be a great book club discussion to compare the two books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While not nearly as deep or thought provoking as P&P, Eligible follows Austen's characters with a fair level of accuracy with one notable and obvious exception/twist. I enjoyed it....great for the beach!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Actually the story was written very well in translating the story of the Bennet family from Jane Austen's time into current time. Kitty and Lydia didn't come off nearly as bad in this rendition as opposed to Jane Austen's telling. I was able to read this adaptation of Pride and Predjudice with less feelings of irritation then the original story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful read. Just the right amount of Austen overlap to make you love and know what to expect, with just enough surprise to keep it fresh. Great read!
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
This was a five star book for me right up until the somewhat goofy reality TV show premise cropped back up in the final third of the story. Otherwise, I loved the way the Bennets and all their drama were adapted and re-imagined for the modern day. Curtis Sittenfeld did a wonderful job of sprinkling Jane Austen's classic story with enough imaginative plot twists to keep me turning the pages, and the family banter made me laugh out loud more than once. A fun, funny re-telling that isn't to be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this novel and found it to be an easy read. The last chapter was poorly done and unnecessary, that is the reason for only 4 stars.
smg5775 More than 1 year ago
A modern telling of Pride and Prejudice. Very tongue-in-cheek. I laughed a lot as the story went on. I liked how she brought in so much of today's pop culture. Well done and it stays true to the original. I would read this and Ms. Sittenfeld again. So much fun!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Purchased this book based on a quick glance and seeing some good reviews. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The characters are are continually placed in situations that feel contrived, crude and vulgar. I think most of the relationships in the book were about lust and bad choices rather than real, honest, true, sacrificial love. This is one of the few eBooks that I permanently deleted from account.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Great easy read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read it for its relations to Jane Austen's Pride & Predjudice... shouldnt have expected much, but was still sorely let down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was an excellent beach read - plot as old as time, with fresh new characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book very much. My first book for this author and i was not disappointed. Not a dull moment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
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.
MeredithFMurphy More than 1 year ago
This was so incredibly clever and I absolutely couldn't put it down!
19269684 More than 1 year ago
[If you don't compare it to Jane Austen's novel, it's not so bad.] While reading this beautiful and very thick book, I was tempted on occasion to call upon Ms. Sittenfeld (Yes, 'Curtis' is also a girl's name!) for an interview! My mind continually questioned why Ms. Sittenfeld needed to create this story, using Pride and Prejudice as the skeleton or outline. The story on its own could have been written amazingly without the comparison. Especially since the constant concern with proprieties were next to a theme with Jane Austen's novel and this one... well, it was totally different! It was written as if the Bennet girls were teenagers, with their manners uncouth, no- that's too kind. They were hilariously scurrilous! But I have to admit, I enjoyed the story. It was funny while still sticking to Austen motif. You could see how, though modernized, the stories carried along the same line, but in order to tell what I thought of the story, I need to go into details. Okay, so the story is pretty much the same as Pride and Prejudice, there are the Bennet girls, a mother who's seeking affluent bachelors and a father who's yonder of it all. That's pretty much where the similarities end, other than names. Set in Cincinnati, Jane and Lizzie return home to assist the family due to Mr. Bennet having a heart attack. The sisters band together to show their playful, childish behavior more than their gifts of Florence Nightingale! They're insane: Mary is assumed to be a lesbian, Kitty and Lydia are health fanatics and Jane is a regular patron at her hometown's IVF clinic! Lizzie, the bookworm works for a magazine called Mascara. *For the full book review: http://tinyurl.com/jyxap9j **Book provided by Shelf Awareness and Random House, for an honest review.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Yes! This book is exactly what I was hoping for when I first heard about The Austen Project. I'm not sure I ever read the description for this book because I knew I wanted to read a modernization of Pride and Prejudice. Curtis Sittenfeld is a genius! I almost don't want to say anything about this book because they details and the way she was able to modernize the plot completely blew me away. I could not put this book down, and I stayed up way to late reading two nights in a row. I know the plot of Austen's original story so well, but this book kept me guessing, and it was just surprise after surprise with how she stayed true to the original and updated everything at the same time. One major character is split into two people, but it really worked for me. For the most part, Curtis was spot on with the characters, but I was a little disappointed with her portrayal of Liz. I think she was generous with Darcy, but Liz was a little weaker than she aught to have been. That being said, it was absolutely delightful to get some of her thoughts and feelings as the relationship with Darcy develops. The book is written in third person, but from Liz's POV. Since I am mostly a fan of the Keira Knightley movie, having only read the original book once or twice, it was a nice change to get some insider information on the romance. If you're a fan of Pride and Prejudice, I think this book is a must read! http://www.momsradius.com/2016/06/book-review-eligible.html
toniFMAMTC More than 1 year ago
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.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I'm a total sucker for Jane Austen remakes. It's like a compulsion. Even though P&P isn't my favorite of hers (hello, Persuasion!) I do love it, and I seem to be particularly drawn to its modern interpretations ( Bridget Jones's Diary, The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, Epic Fail; I could go on and on and on, but that's not the point of this review.) It was pretty much a forgone conclusion that I was going to read Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld. There were things I liked a lot in this one--that Darcy is a brain surgeon, and the way in which the reality TV dating show "Eligible" was used to move the plot along (and LOL to Lydia's observation--"It's called reality TV. It's not called true TV." True that, sister.) It made sense to me that if the threat of "spinsterdom" was going to be played up, that the sisters would need to be older than in the original (Jane turns 40, Liz is 38). Even though her role is absolutely nothing like the one in any other P&P version anywhere--including (especially?) the original, I did like this version of Catherine De Bourgh the character. (Though why does she have absolutely no connection to Darcy at all in this rendition? It was like the author just wanted to get her name in there somewhere and that's how she did it. Odd.) Ms. Sittenfeld did a nice job of showing Bingley's chronic indecisiveness, and the ending of Lizzie and Darcy's part of the story was absolutely delightful. Then there were the things that bothered me--Lydia's crisis, for one, did not at all have the urgency or impact of the original version. It pretty much left me with a "that's it?" impression. Ditto the event that put Darcy and the Wickham-type character at odds with each other. Don't get me wrong, what Jasper does isn't nice, and he definitely deserved the consequences he received, but the oomph of the original transgression? It's not there at all. (And why is he called Jasper Wick when pretty much everybody else keeps their whole names from the original--even poor Fitzwilliam? And don't get me started on Bingley's first name--Chip. Chip. ) A text from Darcy's sister Georgiana causes Liz some heartache at one point, and I'm still not sure what Georgie meant by one part of it (the bit about feeling awkward about their conversation)--I get what the text's role in the plot was, but what Georgie really was trying to say there? I have no idea. A whole lot of issues were thrown at us throughout the book--interracial dating, transgender issues, feminism, bigotry, antisemitism, racism (and whatever the proper label would be for Mary's sexual identity; I think I know what it is, but don't want to spoil anything here)--that felt more as if they were there just for the sake of being trendy and modern than because they were needed for the sake of the plot and story. And the incredibly short chapters as the book went on? I felt like I was reading a James Patterson novel. Although the vocabulary definitely wasn't JP-worthy.. At times it kind of felt like I was reading a book that wanted to advertise itself as a SAT or GRE vocabulary-prep text. Sometimes it's really okay to use the simpler words, even when you have an impressive vocabulary. So...was it worth the read? Ultimately, yes. It *is* P&P, after all, and Charlotte's not a zombie, so that's a plus. Would I read another book by the author? Maybe--jury's still out on that one. Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I'm a sucker for anything P+P, so I was excited to get my greedy hands on this book. For some reason, I just kept putting it off. Sadly, it was a bit disappointing. I liked Liz and Darcy well enough. I struggled to see the connection between them and that's what made me start to lose interest. I was intrigued to see how it all played out and that's the main reason I kept reading. Maybe it's because it a modern retelling, but the rest of the family was just meh. I did like the switch up with Ham and Kathy, but for the most part, I wasn't thrilled with the characterizations. There were a few sections where I was really amused and some great nods to the original, but not as many as I was hoping for. Overall, I know a lot of people will love this, it just wasn't what I was hoping for. **Huge thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it!