Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

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I was conscious of this author, but it was Jennifer who told me she had written a book that recounted the Pride and Prejudice story in present day Cincinnati. How could that possibly work, I thought, and will it include the beloved Cincinnati-style chili? Well, yes, that chili with cinnamon, served on spaghetti, topped with cheddar cheese, beans and onions is featured. And yes, the translation of Jane Austen’s wonderful book works surprisingly well.

I cannot imagine what this book looks like to someone who is not a fan of Pride and Prejudice, because the pleasure is in how Mrs. Bennett expresses her foolishness, how it comes to be that Jane’s heart is broken, and who it is Lydia elopes with. I particularly liked that the author lets us know that despite evidence to the contrary, Darcy is a good guy by telling us he goes to Skyline Chili for lunch by himself every week.

Such a fun book.

Sittenfeld, Curtis, Eligible, Random House, 2016, 492 pages (I listened to the audiobook version). Available at the public library and from bookstores.

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