Of course the Bennetts have sex. Well certainly the parents have done so, as they have five daughters as glorious proof. But in this modern-telling of Pride and Prejudice, the daughters make up for all that was "not happening" in the original.
I'm not going to lie, it's a bit jarring to have a glimpse into the bedrooms of Jane, Liz, Kitty and Lydia. True to form, Mary remains the outlier. Set in Cincinnati, the circumstances and main characters are held in tact. But this time we find ourselves in a 21st century landscape of reality TV, high-powered surgeons and fitness fads.
Liz and Jane live in New York. Liz is a magazine writer and Jane is a yoga instructor. The younger girls still live with their parents in Cincinnati in a crumbling home funded by a depleted trust fund. The New York siblings have returned home for a visit following their father's heart attack.
Most of the key characters remain in the story: Darcy as an arrogant surgeon, Bingley as a recent star on a "Bachelor"-like program, the annoying Mr. Collins is a Silicon Valley success.
The story moves with brisk dialogue and is a delightful summer read. Just make sure you aren't trying to escape back in time. This tale is firmly planted in the now.
If you are looking for more Austen, check out Whit Stillman's film adaptation of Austen's short story "Lady Susan" in the movie "Love & Friendship." The movie stars Kate Beckinsale as the cunning widow trying to sort her next marriage--even at the expense of her own daughter. It's great fun.
And if you live in New York, the Bedlam Theatre has extended it's much heralded production of "Sense & Sensibility," at the Judson Gym through October. Click here for more information.
About the Author:
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice is Curtis Sittenfeld's fifth novel. She is the author of the bestselling novels Sisterland, American Wife, Prep, and The Man of My Dreams, which have been translated into twenty-five languages. Prep was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, and American Wife was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2008 by Time, People, and Entertainment Weekly; both were nominated for the UK’s Orange Prize.
Jeeves and The Wedding Bells: An Homage to P.G. Wodehouse by Sebastian Faulks