Monday, 4 July 2016

"Eligible" by Curtis Sittenfied

Had Jane Austen written "Pride and Prejudice" today, and the setting meant to be American, this is what the work could have looked like. I generally do not fancy when writers call themselves writers but only rewrite classics, but this is so well done, and Sittenfied is the author of other works too. In this book, Fitzwilliam Darcy is a doctor, and so is Chip Bingley (a suregon). Elizabeth is a journalist, her best friend obese, Jane is trying to get pregnant with a sperm donor, their cousin made a fortune in Silicon Valley and a third sister is a gifted manicurist, though she has basically never worked a day in her life.

And more!

Over to the quoting:
'"Fred!' the nurse said, though they had never met. 'How are we today?'
Reading the nurse's name tag, Mr. Bennet replied with fake enthusiasm, 'Bernard! We're mourning the death of manners and the rise of overly familiar discourse. How are you?'"

"...when, passing again by their closed door, she heard female gasps that were unmistakably sexual in nature. She hurried out."

"'Oh my God.' Instead of shaking Ham's hand, Gretchen brought her own hand to her mouth; her face had dried of merriment."

A must-read? No. But enjoyable, oh yes. (I finished the 500 pages in two days.) I giggle and admire the perfect touch of airiness and balanced eloquency. In the same book, Elizabeth Bennett utters the word "pee" and her two younger sisters (the Bennett sisters make five) scream "Alabama hot pocket" at the charades they play (do not google that, you will mostly regret it). So it is modern, and Liz's father is a sarcastic poet when he speaks, perhaps my favourite part.

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