Title: Eligible (The Austin Project #4)
Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Published: April 19, 2016. (Ebook available through Kindle Unlimited)
I finally got back to my reading (I’m 10 books behind now in my planned timeline) so I have a few book reviews to do. The first one on the list is another Pride & Prejudice related book. This is a modern adapatation, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld (Goodreads).
I was a bit mixed on what grade to give this one. I did enjoy as it started out, although the idea of the reality show aspect was a bit odd. In this novel, Charles Bingley becomes Chip, a ER doctor who decides to take part in a reality matchmaking show (ala The Bachelor) after being convinced by his sister Caroline. Darcy, also a Doctor, convinces him to come work in Columbus Ohio with him.
Jane & Lizzie are somewhat styled as the more adult of the sisters like in the original material, although Jane is trying for a baby via IVF and Lizzie has a ongoing affair with Jasper (who is the George Wickam of this story).
On one hand I was happy to see Kitty and Mary, often forgotten or made into cousins/pets in other modern variation, developed into characters with a firmer personality. I think the writer was a bit harsh with Mary though. Lydia as well was developed and I actually like the way they changed her, although she still has that callous way of dealing with her sisters. Kitty has her own personality and isn’t just seen as Lydia’s partner in crime.
There are some awkward changes though. Darcy’s and Lizzie’s relationship is a little less romantic then it tends to be in other adaptations. And the end, while happy for everyone, seems almost sudden, like there is some missing steps inbetween the rest of the book.
That being said, if you enjoy P&P variations or adaptations, this is worth a try. I’m going to give it a B-. While the ending is a little odd with the characters, this book does a good job in developing minor characters. It does emphaisis some characteristics in the antagonists of Caroline and Wickham that I’m not sure are necessary, but it works within the story.
I am considering reading some of the other books in the Austen Project. As far as I know there are four books total, all modern retellings of Austen’s books.