In Eligible, Curtis Sittenfeld has written a very modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice, including premarital goings-on, gender bending, and reality television. It’s great fun, especially for fans of the original. I was getting ready to go on a trip and needed a good book to read on the airplane. I thought I'd read a chapter or two of Eligible to make sure I liked the book before I packed it in my carry-on bag. I ended up finishing it the same day and had to look for something else for the trip. If you need an entertaining book to lift your spirits, you won’t go wrong with Eligible.
The two eldest Bennet sisters, Jane and Liz, live in New York City. When their father has a bout of ill health, the two sisters move home to Cincinnati to help care for him. Jane and Liz are getting long in the tooth, with age forty looming on the horizon. Mrs. Bennet is desperate to see her daughters married off. Jane catches the eye of Chip Bingley, a local doctor who also happens to be a reality television star. Neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, loyal friend of Chip, meets Liz and the anticipated sparks fly.
While all the characters from Pride and Prejudice have been updated, you will still easily recognize all the characters from the original Pride and Prejudice, including the oily cousin Mr. Collins, family friend Charlotte, and the reprobate Mr. Wickham.
If you are interested in adaptations or works inspired by other Jane Austen favorites, here are a few suggestions.
Craving even more Jane reboots? Try this list by Amanda B., "Everything Miss Austen, opens a new window."