A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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
Publisher: 2016
ISBN: 9780812997613
Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

"Is this kind of stupid?," I wondered, "Putting Pride and Prejudice into modern-day Cleveland?" But it was just so much fun that soon I didn't care. Curtis Sittenfeld is a wonderful writer.

"Is this kind of stupid?," I wondered, "Putting Pride and Prejudice into modern-day Cleveland?" But it was just so much fun that soon I didn't care.

The latest Jane Austen retelling - this one set in New York.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 21, 2020

A modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice.....Down to the family name of Bennet & the romantic interest for Lizzy is Fitzwilliam Darcy. It's a fun book. I liked it.

CCPL_Laura Jan 08, 2020

All the bare bones of the classic Pride & Prejudice are here, seamlessly woven into a modern
American setting with modern social dilemmas. The classic humor is apparent, as well as the recognizable personalities and characteristics of the beloved Bennet family. While the parallels to Austen’s novel seem endless, Sittenfeld’s tongue-in-cheek style makes Eligible stand separate and entirely on its own. Stumble through Cincinnati with Liz as she comes to terms with her parents’ flaws, supports Lydia’s bold decisions, runs (literally) into Darcy, and faces reality TV alongside Bingley and Jane. Eligible is a romantic comedy reflecting the timelessness of Austen’s most notable work.

Dec 28, 2019

Modern adaption of Pride and Prejudice

Nov 25, 2019

It is a fun retelling of the Pride and Prejudice. I’m not a chick lit type of reader but I enjoyed this. It has humor and romance without being too over the top. Highly recommended.

Nov 09, 2019

This modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice is great fun. Recommended for Jane Austen fans.

Jul 16, 2019

Disappointing. The leading lady was incredibly unlikable. The whole family was perceived as not only a family who lacked finess (expected) but lacked integrity and over all self respect.

I will say the author did a great job at developing the characters and the family banter was clever and relatable (minus the huge amount of vulgarity).
Overall I wouldn’t recommend. Especially to the lovers of the original story.

Jan 03, 2019

Calling Eligible a modern retelling of Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice hardly prepares you for this version of the story. Though true, you may not be braced for how much pop culture and parody Sittenfeld has injected into the beloved novel. The storyline is the same - there are a couple of character plot lines that have changed - but mostly it is true to original plot.
Have you ever imagined the Bennett family in modern times? Some of us fans may have seen the modern retelling movies - the Bollywood version or the 2003 Utah-based version. Both (purposely?) set in cultures where family, virtue and reputation are still primary - like in Austen's day. But what if the Bennet clan were just a bunch of xennial/millennial basic b----es? This is the world Sittenfeld has painted and it is fun, fresh and witty. We have Crossfit, Reality-Dating Shows, Silicon Valley nerds and artificial insemination whirling around the Eligible world. We also experience transgender and race diversity on the scene. Critics of the novel do not feel those were admirably handled, though one might see that as Sittenfeld's point. Sittenfeld was not afraid to make Lizzie - a most beloved character - even more flawed than her 19th century counterpart. Beware that her pride - and the resulting character flaws of such a vice (control, arrogance, lack of self awareness, etc) is visibly aired out with all the Bennets' dirty laundry.
I avoided this novel at first because of the variance in reviews. Some loved and enjoyed this story and some hated it - calling it utter trash. Loving Austen's original work does not guarantee you will like Sittenfeld's version, but it also doesn't guarantee you will hate it. But I find it merits a chance. Sittenfeld's version is consistent and creative. I admire what she's done with the story and feel that she was true to the nature of Austen's characters put into a particular scene of modern day. It has taught me to not always rely on reviews to tell me what to pick up next - if anything a divided population might be the most enjoyable experience.

Aug 03, 2018

I was really disappointed in this book. The whole thing is overblown. Just one of the weird situations might have - more delicately handled - been funny. Ladling melodrama atop melodrama made it nauseating as well as boring.

The characters all lack charm. Vulgarity is their defining attribute. Austen’s Kitty, Lydia and Mrs. Bennett were vulgar - but there’s vulgar and there’s VULGAR. It was hard to care what might become of any one of Sittenfeld’s characters, including Jane, Mr. Bennett and especially Lizzie.
Jane Austen said of her work that it was like using a very fine brush to paint details onto an ivory miniature. This author slings buckets of virulently-coloured paints at a very large, coarse-grained canvas.

Sep 05, 2017

I only read the first 30 pages of this book but would not recommend it as the language and situations were inappropriate although common in today's world.

ArapahoeStaff11 Jul 17, 2017

A quick, lighthearted retelling of "Pride and Prejudice" set in contemporary Cincinnati. Lots of laughs!

View All Comments


Add a Summary
SPL_Brittany May 21, 2016

Fourth book in the Austen Project, Curtis Sittenfeld brings us a modern retelling of Jane Austens’ Pride and Prejudice, and transports us both time and place to the United States in the 21st century. Liz Bennet is a magazine writer in New York, who, like her older Yoga instructor sister Jane, is in her late thirties. They are called home to Cincinnati when their father has a health scare and discover their childhood home crumbling and family in disarray. Liz and Jane decide to stay home to help take care of their father, while Mrs. Bennet is busy planning and organizing a social event for her Ladies group, and worrying about getting her daughters married. The youngest sisters are too busy to get jobs let alone help out at home. Kitty and Lydia are occupied with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets, while Mary is holed up in her room earning her third degree online.
At a Fourth of July barbeque hosted by the Lucases, the Bennet’s are introduced to Chip Bingley, a doctor who recently was on the reality dating show Eligible, and his friend Mr. Darcy - a neurosurgeon who also works at the same hospital. On first impressions, Chip and Jane take an immediate interest in each other, while Darcy reveals himself to be less than charming, to an eavesdropping Liz.
Fans of Jane Austen will enjoy Sittenfeld’s hilarious modern adaptation of a beloved classic, tackling gender, class, courtship and family. Readers will enjoy the authors’ leisurely pace and snarky banter between Liz and Darcy as well as a few plot surprises!

Shelf Life Review in the Stratford Gazette May 2016


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MCL

To Top