My favorite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice; I'm living the stereotype with no regrets. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy first came in to my life as part of a sophomore summer course in college. During my second pregnancy, I was obsessed with 19th century British authors, and Jane Austen topped the list. I fell in love Colin Firth's Darcy in 1995 and wanted to be Kiera Knightley's Elizabeth in 2005.
So thrilled doesn't begin to describe my reaction when I came across a modern version of this much loved romance by Curtis Sittenfeld entitled Eligible.
In this version, Liz (Elizabeth) is 38 and Jane 40. Both live in New York City; Liz is a magazine writer and Jane a yoga instructor. Younger sisters Mary, Kitty and Lydia still reside in the Bennet home back in Cincinnati. Our story begins when the two oldest girls return to Ohio after Mr. Bennett suffers a heart attack.
Darcy is a neurosurgeon, Bingley is also a surgeon but one who appeared on the most recent season of a Bachelor-esque reality show. Jasper Wick (Wickham) is still a terrible person, this time Liz's best friend and married lover. Caroline Bingley is still cold and condescending. Mr. Bennet is even more Donald Sutherland in this version (see 2005 movie) with the best one liners, and Mrs. Bennet, aka "Sally", is still obsessed with marrying off the girls but is also revealed to be a serious shopaholic.
Liz takes a page out of the Leslie Knope playbook and attempts to solve her family's various issues. Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are near bankrupt, even more so after Mr. Bennet's hospital stay because they have no health insurance, so Liz starts the process of selling their oversized Tudor house. Mary, Kitty, and Lydia have never left home nor held a job, but face the necessity of finding both with the impending house sale.
Did I mention Kitty and Lydia are obsessed with their iPhones and Crossfit? or the modern twist on Lydia's elopement that I so didn't see coming?
And then there's the hate sex with Darcy.
Seriously, if you love Pride and Prejudice half as much as I do, get a copy of this book and start it when you have plenty of time to finish. This is still a great book even if you aren't very familiar with P&P, but it's so much more fun if you are!
I admit I neglected my knitting while reading this book. I'm currently working on a test knit of a shawl pattern using the colorway "Dad's Plaid Shirt" by Robin Barraud of Robin's Roost on Etsy. Check out my latest podcast for an interview with Robin along with a giveaway of the same yarn in the colorway "Blue Skies" and look for the release of this pattern by Clothesline Designs on Ravelry on June 25th!