Imagine Elizabeth Bennet as a writer living in New York City. Imagine Mr. Darcy as a neurosurgeon. Imagine Jane Bennet as a 40-year-old single woman undergoing IVF treatment. Imagine Bingley as a reality TV star.
That is exactly what Curtis Sittenfeld did in her new novel Eligible. This new retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice takes place in modern day New York and Cincinnati. Jane and Liz have to return to their hometown of Cincinnati when their father has a heart attack. While they are hime, they hear that the star from the reality show Eligible, like The Bachelor, is moving to town. Mrs. Bennet has picked out Bingley to marry one of her daughters. Bingley and his friend Darcy are doctors working at the local hospital. Other favourite characters are also in this story, such as Charlotte Lucas, Catherine de Bourgh, and Caroline Bingley.
This novel is my favourite retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Sittcnfelf updated the events so that the story is completely plausible in today’s world, such as the Bennets being in debt from Mr. Bennet’s medical procedures following his heart attack. That is the reason they will lose their house, rather than it being entailed to a distant male relative. Though Sittenfeld follows the original plot faithfully, there are many surprises that could only happen in a modern retelling, which kept me laughing through the novel.