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Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld


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Can a retelling of ‘Pride and Prejudice' possibly work? Well, this novel proves it can. The Austen Project consists of six contemporary authors, each retelling one of Jane Austen’s novels. Just imagine being paired with Pride and Prejudice, where on earth would you even begin? Well…Curtis Sittenfeld, bestselling author of American Wife, has moved the setting to Cincinnati, has included a reality TV show, sex before marriage and increased the ages of both Elizabeth and Jane to 38 and 40 - gulp! Curtis Sittenfeld has been particularly clever, keeping the essence of the story complete, yet cranking it up to be an eminently readable 21st century relationship story. Mr and Mrs Bennet are an absolute delight (and fright), transferring perfectly and making me both chuckle and cringe, I also have to admit to now seeing Jane Austen’s Elizabeth with new eyes. So, I embraced the changes as I read, stopped analysing and just enjoyed this thoroughly modern tale. ~ Liz Robinson

The titles in the Austen Project series are:

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope
Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid
Emma by Alexander McCall Smith
Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

If you like Curtis Sittenfeld you might also like to read books by Robyn Sisman , Kim Edward and Elinor Lipman.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Julie Evans - 'WOW I actually felt that I was part of the story, living in Cincinnati with them...A fantastic read for summer!'
  • Phyl Smithson - 'Such is the incredibly quality of Sittenfeld’s writing I was totally absorbed and flew through the +500 pages of this modern Pride and Prejudice interpretation.  Brilliant.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'I loved this book! I am a huge fan of the original, and seeing this modern day take of the story just goes to show that no matter how much time goes by it is ageless.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'Eligible holds a modern day mirror to Pride and Prejudice perfectly. An accomplished and joyful re-telling of the classic as well as a cracking good read in its own right. Contented sighs all round!'
  • Pauline Braisher - 'I loved, loved, loved this book! So much so that I read all 514 pages in less than two days.'
  • Humaira - 'Reading this books makes me want to read Pride and Prejudice again and read all the fan fiction there is about it! I loved this book so much.'
  • Doreen McKeown - 'I really enjoyed the book, the writing style gives a nod to Jane Austen, but is very easy to read and I liked the way the story was constructed, with short chapters, which enticed me to read 'just one more'.'
  • Sarah Musk - 'A modern update of Pride and Prejudice set in America. Elizabeth Bennet and her sisters are still set on finding the rich man of their dreams.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'A nice, fun, light novel and one that Jane Austen would read herself and enjoy, giggling at the same dry humour she wrote in her own wonderful books!'
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'A brilliant page turner saga for the twenty-first century.'
  • Melanie Kane - 'Eligible was completely and utterly brilliant, witty, entertaining and delightful to read. The storyline was fantastic and superbly written and touched on some serious issues with great humour.'
  • Liz Bloomer - 'A delightful read! Picture Pride and Prejudice brought smack up to date! The same characters but with a modern twist - most enjoyable.'


Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

For sisters Liz and Jane, coming home to suburban Cincinnati means being paraded at the Lucas family's BBQ, where burgers are served alongside the eligible men. But it's difficult to focus on re-booting their love lives when the family's mock-Tudor house starts to crumble around them. Yet as their mother reminds them, it's not every day you meet a pair of handsome single doctors ...


Praise for Eligible:

'A masterpiece ... I found Eligible so relevant and relatable. Whether or not you're an Austen fan, you'll adore this version: This is Pride and Prejudice 2.0 and I must confess, I liked it more than the original. There I said it'

'These days, if Curtis Sittenfeld writes it, I read it'
Judy Blume

'If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it' Elle

'Bold and brilliant ... Sittenfeld's prose is so witty and sparkling that she keeps you entranced from first page to last' Glamour

'Eligible has all the charm, wit and romance of Pride & Prejudice and also takes these characters who are such a stalwart feature of our literary landscape and treats them with such affection and humour, that I defy anyone not to find Eligible an absolute delight' Red

Woman and Home

'Fizz' and Funny' Psychologies

'Such a feast of a book'
Nigella Lawson

'Three cheers for Curtis Sittenfeld and her astute, sharp and ebullient anthropological interest in the human condition... not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted'
The New York Times

'An enjoyably light-hearted romp'
Financial Times

About the Author

Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld is a graduate of Stanford University and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop where she was taught by Marilynne Robinson. As well as four bestselling novels, Curtis has also written for publications such as The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Guardian, Glamour and Time magazine, where she interviewed Michelle Obama.

Author photo © Josephine Sittenfeld

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Book Info

Publication date

1st June 2017


Curtis Sittenfeld

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The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


544 pages


Relationship Stories
Literary Fiction
Romantic Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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