Publication date April 19, 2016 by Random House
I’m a fan of retellings of Jane Austen, whether in books of films. Most of Austen’s writing depends on observations social conventions and the class structure of its time,which is tricky to translate to modern-day traditions.
In Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice, the characters lacked the subtlety of Austen’s versions of romance in this modern retelling. Instead of the expected good – natured, and warm characters, we’re given two-dimensional, cold and unlikable ones. Where are Austen’s signature kind and charming characters? My biggest gripe is Sittenfeld’s attempt to mix the old world way of speaking with modern-day talk.
“Uncertainly, Jane said, Mom, you haven’t been reading my texts, have you?” Merrily, Lydia said, “she doesn’t know how to!”… Mrs. Bennett appeared uncontrite**. Jane furrowed her eyebrow, which for her reflected genuine pique.”
The stilted dialog was a chore to read, as the author tried to blend the speaking mannerisms of the old and the new. Plus, this book needs a good editor. Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice is a light-hearted, modern-day retelling of a Jane Austen novel. I don’t think many die-hard Austen fans would enjoy this book.
* This book was provided to me from NetGalley by Random House in exchange for an honest review.
** Uncontrite is not a word.