Publisher: Random House
Publication date: April 19th 2016
My rating: 1 star/DNF
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A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice
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.
Eligible is supposed to be a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but I found it more of a mocking shell of that beloved classic than any re-telling. There’s no way I’m going to imagine that the original version would’ve ever devolved into this story. I didn’t care for or respect any of the characters, maybe with the exception of Jane. Just the fact that Bingley was in a Bachelor type reality dating show gave me pause. Didn’t care for the situation they were in when I stopped reading.
I was utterly frustrated that Liz would waste so many years (twelve? I don’t care enough to check) on a man that was (highlight for spoiler) taken either by a girlfriend or later by his wife! Oh, and they had a toddler when Liz and Jasper finally got together! I’m sorry, Liz, but you brushing your hair away before Jasper could do it all those years ago didn’t foil your meant-to-be relationship! He was/is an ass and you were/are an idiot! ( (end of spoiler) I was very underwhelmed by her relationship with Darcy. Had Liz been a likable character or one that I could relate to in any way I might have enjoyed this story even with the abundance of hateful people. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
When I got to the 52% mark (a little over 250 pages) I just couldn’t read any further.