Author: Curtis Sittenfeld
Genre: Romance/ satire
Part of a series? Yes, book four of the Austen Project. Each book is by a different author.
Published: April 19th, 2016
Confession time…. I never read Pride and Prejudice. I own it, I mean to… the premise intrigues me. “Classics” as it were, have always seemed daunting to me as I read purely for fun and escape. I loved the premise though, the five sisters and mama trying to marry them off. The miscommunication between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett… all of it.
This book seemed perfect for me. The premise was all there- the satire on the social system of the time? Also there. The crazed confusion between the couple? Yes. You see, Mr. Bennett goes into the hospital, and all the Bennetts converge on Cincinnati. The three youngest, Lydia, Kitty and Mary; all live in the Tudor home still. None of them are working, Mary at least goes to school but seems to be a lifelong scholar taking one degree after another. Kitty is a bit insipid, not mean but not really caring. Lydia can be down right nasty and the two together seem like party girls and are crazed about Cross fit. Jane, the eldest is a yogi and single woman. At forty she wants nothing more than to be a mother and starts invetro. Lizzy is dating a man that she has loved for years, but can’t really talk about. He is still married and claims they have to wait until the wife’s relative dies to get a divorce or they won’t get the inheritance. Mr. Bennett has his head hidden in the sand and looks up mostly to crack sarcastic jokes about his family. Mrs. Bennett has two obsessions- marrying all her daughters off (to men that can support them and give them children, thank you), and shopping. When Liz discovers that the family finances are in dire straits she tries to right everything, whether it is her place or not.
During one of Mrs. Bennett mad matchmaking capers the girls find themselves at a barbeque with Chip Bingsley (fresh from reality TV show Eligible-think Bachelor). He and Jane hit it off. Sadly the same cannot be said for Liz and his best friend Fitwiliam Darcy. Overhearing him say some terrible things about her, she flies off the handle. The two keep meeting up through the book, usually with him saying something stupid and Liz antagonizing him. The chemistry is there, though…. sexually. As far as anything that can make an actual relationship…. who knows. One crazy scenario after another occurs.
My thoughts: I am torn. I didn’t actually like any of the characters, but I liked all of them as caracatcures of several different types in society. I also liked being able to see the growth in each character- I always respect that. What I didn’t like, was that I never really felt for the couple that was Fitzwilliam and Liz. Until the last part, I couldn’t see them as a couple besides sex, and that was upsetting.
As far as the Adult content scale goes, lewd humor, sexual content, and language mostly. I give it a five.
The book is out now, let me know what you think.
Link to book: