From the best-selling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Pride & Prejudice, set in modern-day Cincinnati.
The Bennet sisters have been summoned from New York City. Liz and Jane are good daughters. They've come home to suburban Cincinnati to get their mother to stop feeding their father steak as he recovers from heart surgery, to tidy up the crumbling Tudor-style family home and to wrench their three sisters from their various states of arrested development.
Once they are under the same roof, old patterns return fast. Soon enough they are being berated for their single status, their only respite the early morning runs they escape on together. For two successful women in their late 30s, it really is too much to bear. That is, until the Lucas family's BBQ throws them in the way of some eligible single men....
Chip Bingley is not only a charming doctor, he's a reality TV star, too. But Chip's friend, haughty neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy, can barely stomach Cincinnati or its inhabitants. Jane is entranced by Chip; Liz, sceptical of Darcy. As Liz is consumed by her father's mounting medical bills, her wayward sisters, and Cousin Willie trying to stick his tongue down her throat, it isn't only the local chili that will leave a bad aftertaste.
But where there are hearts that beat and mothers who push, the mysterious course of love will resolve itself in the most entertaining and unlikely of ways. And from the hand of Curtis Sittenfeld, Pride & Prejudice is catapulted into our modern world singing out with hilarity and truth.
©2016 Curtis Sittenfeld (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
Praise for Curtis Sittenfeld: "Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one." (Maggie Shipstead)
"Sittenfeld has an astonishing gift for creating characters that take up in residence in readers' heads." (Washington Post)
"When it comes to tearing apart contemporary American family life, Sittenfeld is up there in a class of her own." (Guardian)
"Curtis Sittenfeld has a knack for capturing characters so vividly it's uncanny." (Daily Mail)
"Like Kate Akinson with Life After Life, Sittenfeld is a reliably realistic (if slightly dreamy) novelist who has here tackled a somewhat far-fetched concept outside her normal range and displayed impressive comfort in doing so." (Sunday Times)
"Curtis Sittenfeld shares with Salinger a knack of capturing, in effortless prose, a teenager mindset.... It feels important.... Most vitally of all, it feels like adolescence." (The Times)
"Sittenfeld is a pin-sharp observer." (Independent on Sunday)
"The summer's most delicious read." (Entertainment Weekly)
"Casts an unshakable spell and has plenty to say about class, sex and character.... One of the 10 best books of 2005." (The New York Times)
This book obviously has an expensive publicist as I had read a review in the weekend paper which said it was a fabulous modern day pride and prejudice. It was awful, tacky, lacking humor, engaging plot or good writing. If you want a great modern day pride and prejudice do yourself a favour and re-read Bridget jones.
As an avid Jane Austen and in particular P&P fan, this adaptation grated on every nerve in my body. The author appears to have made a list of all modern aspects of life in the 21st century, then ticked them off as he forced them into the story. The ending with Mary was just ridiculous. Shame on you Sittenfeld.
This is a clever modernisation that takes enough liberties with the narrative to become unique whilst still remaining true to the original text. Good fun and well read.
"Easy listening and entertaining"
It was interesting to see how the author modernised each character and situation/plot line. Most 'changes' were done well but I thought the Lydia plot line was just an excuse to bring in a topic that is current but just felt clumsy and unnecessary with so much else going on- the Wickam character became two people and I felt Lydia's Wickam was only done for shock value. Other than that is was quite clever. Would see this book as a holiday or beach read/listen type of book. Did find American accent annoying to listen to first as I tended to listen to it at night but I got used to the vocal quality pretty quickly. Recommend for easy listen and nothing too intense. If you are an Austen purist you won't like this a bit but as a general Austen fan or not it is worth a listen.
"A modern, diluted 'Pride and Prejudice'"
Drawn in by the concept, the plot and its twist were more akin to an esperpento version of Austen's classic than a modern retelling. A lightly amusing, frothy novel.
"Pride and Prejudice updated"
I am a great fan of Pride and Prejudice which I know very well, so I could really appreciate this updated version of it. I enjoyed it tremendously and think that Jane Austen would have approved.
"A warm retelling of Pride & Prejudice"
I came across Curtis Sittenfeld when she was mentioned in Hadley Freeman's autobiography, Be Awesome. I subsequently enjoyed Sittenfeld's novel Prep and was excited to see that she'd written this retelling of Price and Prejudice.
In this charming version of Jane Austen's novel, Liz Bennet's compulsion to sort out her family, while floundering with her love life, is moved to modern-day America (primarily Cincinnati). The familiar characters - the five sisters, the meddling mother, resigned father, and assorted beaus - are all well crafted, and the writing is warm and engaging, with enough clever updating to keep it interesting: reality tv, mobile phones and IVF all make appearances. At the same time, it retains the tone and basic plot of the original; it's good quality romantic fiction, rather than literary masterpiece.
The narration is of a very high standard, although Cassandra Campbell's poshly nasal American accent, while appropriate to the story, did take a while to get used to. It's a novel that invites opinion, and would be a great choice for a book club. I have already gifted a copy to a friend and look forward to her thoughts.
I should note that I'm not a P&P fanatic, so I'm not precious about the original, although I have enjoyed reading it and seen many on-screen versions. Nor have I read Sittenfeld's acclaimed novel American Wife, although after enjoying Eligible, it's now on my wishlist.
"glad there's a return option"
awful pile of predictable drivel! felt like I had downloaded a teenage love drama by mistake! not like any of sittenfelds other works! thankfully there was the return and refund option!!
"Should have been better"
If you have a brilliant story like Pride and Prejudice and want to convert it to present day America, fine, but do the characters have to become so awful. I wanted it to be over, and although we all know the story, stuck with it to the bitter end. Could have been so much better, leave our Jane Austen alone!
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