Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Eligible - September Book Club

This month, I picked the book! Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld has been on my to-read list for awhile now, and I convinced my fellow Jane Austen-loving book club members to read this modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice. Instead of England, our setting is present-day Cincinnati, Ohio. You've still got all your favorite characters: Lizzie, Darcy, Mr. Bingley, Jane, Lydia, Kitty, Mary, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. And the main gist of the story is the same, but certain details have been changed to bring the story into the 21st century.

What did I think? I liked it! Although, I had trouble picturing the characters speaking with American accents because I'm so used to Pride and Prejudice being British! I also couldn't picture Darcy looking like anyone but Colin Firth. I'm sorry, but nobody else will ever be able to play that part. Just no.

Even though this is a pretty faithful retelling, there's enough difference in the details to keep you interested. Because I knew the basic story of Pride and Prejudice, I knew what was going to happen in this book, and the suspense of JUST. GETTING. THERE. ALREADY was killing me.

Not sure how I felt about the very last chapter, though. Was it necessary? Did Austen throw in something like that at the end of her version? I don't remember. Seemed like it was just there to tie up loose ends for all of the characters.

What did my book club think? One person said she was disappointed at the "scandalous" thing that happens. You might remember that in the original story, Lydia runs off with that guy, and while that may have been CRAZY way back when, it's just not as family-reputation wrecking in today's world. So the author had to come up with something else, but what exactly is scandalous anymore these days?

Overall, the consensus was that we liked this book. One person finished it in a day, while another one finished it in a weekend. So it's definitely a book that you don't get bored with, and the chapters are pretty short, so you feel like, "Oh, I'll just read one more chapter. Oh, I'll just read another one." And before you know it, you've finished another 50 pages!

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