Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
In full disclosure, I am a fan of Pride and Prejudice; I did not, however, choose this book solely based on that fact. Sittenfeld's debut novel, Prep, is a favorite and I also enjoyed American Wife; I was excited to read her newest work and the fact that it is billed as "a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice" was simply icing on the cake.
Anyone who knows me well will confirm that I am a being of routine and schedule; I usually choose which book I'll read next based on its release date, but I went crazy and read this one out of order. I'd just recovered from a pretty hefty reading slump, thanks to the remarkable All the Single Ladies, and didn't want to fall back into it; I had a feeling this one would do the trick and I was right.
You need not have ever read Pride and Prejudice for this one to be entertaining; Sittenfeld is a fantastic storyteller and incorporates moments of parody on modern obsessions such as Crossfit, the Paleo diet, and a dramatic reality television matchmaking program called Eligible (think The Bachelor). As a die hard fan of The Bachelor, this was a welcome surprise; the most recent season was wrapping up as I read this book and it made for quite an enjoyable experience.
The Bennet family is as wild and wacky as ever and I can hardly believe that this book contains over 500 pages; I flew through it. For me, it was a great follow up to All the Single Ladies because, in the midst of the comedy and snarky banter, Sittenfeld provides us with intelligent, contemporary commentary on being a single woman at age 35+, the significance of class distinction, the drive to constantly do more, and what it means to relate as a modern family.
I would definitely recommend this one to any fan of Pride and Prejudice, as well as someone looking for a lighthearted, yet masterfully poignant, read; and if you're a fan of The Bachelor (or a fan of making fun of The Bachelor!), well...you've just got to read it.