It is a truth universally acknowledged…

… that Pride & Prejudice is a book that has stood the test of time.  Curtis Sittenfeld has brought it bang up to date with tales of silicon valley, yoga, fitbits, publishing and healthcare issues.  Funny, amusing and at times cringeworthy, whilst it’s based on the original P&P, it won’t be a book that appeals to the P&P purist.

ELIGIBLE

I loved it – one of my most favourite books (Pride & Prejudice) brought up to date by one of my most favourite authors. What’s not to love?

The characterisation stays true to the original. LIzzy is fun but as hot headed and prejudiced as her Darcy; Jane and Bingley’s attraction is warm but not excessive. Kitty and Lydia are as vacuous as in the original and Mrs Bennett is as irritating as ever. I liked the fact that Wyckham was now Jasper Wick and Ham Ryan! Lady Catherine is now an ardent feminist and Mr Collins is as repulsive as ever as Cousin Willie! My only disappointment was that Mrs Bennett’s stereotypes were not adequately countered or addressed (anti-semitic, anti-transgender and racist) but that doesn’t really detract from my love for this story.

Admittedly this book won’t be for everyone – the characterisation isn’t particularly deep – but I loved the retelling of the tale. Despite knowing what would happen, the reinterpretation did make me smile at each turn of events and even giggle on occasion.

I absolutely loved it and was thrilled to receive an advance copy.

Brilliant! But not for the P&P purist!

MetLineReader Rating 5 stars🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Metropolitan

About this book

 

From the bestselling author of Prep, American Wife and Sisterland comes this brilliant retelling of Austen’s classic 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 thirties, 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 chilli that will leave a bad aftertaste.

But where there are hearts that beat and mothers that 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.

‘This year the book of the summer is going to be Eligible’ The Times

‘Sheer joy… Giddy and glam and a hearty update of Pride and Prejudice’ Jessie Burton, author of The Miniaturist

Acknowledgements

Eligible is published on 21st April by The Borough Press, an imprint of Harper Collins UK.

I received an advance review copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  I loved it and have already pre-ordered my hardback edition!

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Shtum ***Blog Tour*** – Jem Lester’s five favourite authors

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As you may remember, late last year I was privileged to receive an advance review copy of Shtum from the publishers, Orion. I cannot express my delight adequately. I have not stopped talking about this book, it will be a phenomenon (and deservedly so). Shtum defies explanation and is a must-read (see my review here).  I can’t keep quiet about it!

So I’m thrilled to be part of the launch celebrations for the utterly fabulous Shtum by Jem Lester, which was published on Thursday 7th April by Orion Books in hardback, e-book and audio download.  Today I’m delighted to welcome Jem Lester to my blog, where he discusses his five favourite authors.

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Jem Lester was a journalist for nine years and saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989 – and though there, he denies personal responsibility. He was also the last journalist to interview the legendary Fred Zinnemann, before the director died. He denies responsibility for that too. He taught English and Media studies at secondary schools for nine years.

Jem has two children, one of whom is profoundly autistic, and for them he accepts total responsibility. He lives in London with his partner and her two children.

On his inspiration for the book he says: “I think, initially, the idea for Shtum came from the realisation that my own non-verbal, autistic son was more forthright in expressing his wants and needs than I was. Of course, I wanted to dismantle the stereotype of the ‘gifted’ autistic child but at the same time I thought it imperative that the joy and humour of these wonderful, innocent children was recognised and celebrated.

#SHTUM            @jemlester          @Orionbooks        Orion Books   Continue reading “Shtum ***Blog Tour*** – Jem Lester’s five favourite authors”

Relativity, astrophysics and a 12 year old called Ethan

 

From the stunning cover to the clever storyline, I absolutely loved this book. I was blown away by it. From the outset, it drew me in. Wanting to find out what happened to Ethan — was his father really to blame?? 

As the story unfolds and Ethan’s gift becomes apparent, I became enthralled by the descriptions of the light and sound waves. 

Ethan’s friendship with fellow patient Alison is touching and adds some warmth and grounding to the story. Without this element it would be a more factual story — what caused the brain injury and why was it occurring? Alison and Ethan have fun together and this brings humour to some potentially rather unpleasant situations!

If you read the blurb and thought well it’s not for me, I would urge you to give it a go. It’s just so different from what you imagine…  the descriptions of the light and sound waves are enthralling! And that’s from someone who hated Physics at school!

MetLineReader Rating 4.5🌟🌟🌟🌟

About this book

Help,” he said. “He’s not breathing.”A tiny baby is rushed to hospital. Doctors suspect he was shaken by his father, who is later charged and convicted. The baby grows up in the care of his mother. Life goes on.

Twelve years later, Ethan is a singular young boy. Gifted with an innate affinity for physics and astronomy, Ethan sees the world in ways others simply can’t – through a prism of light, time, stars and space.

Ethan is the centre of his mother’s universe. Claire has tried to protect him from finding out what happened when he was a baby. But the older Ethan gets, the more questions he asks about his absent father.

A single handwritten letter is all it takes to set off a dramatic chain of events, pulling both parents back together again into Ethan’s orbit. As the years seem to warp and bend, the past is both relived and revealed anew for each of them.

Relativity is an irresistible story about love, unbreakable bonds and irreversible acts.

Acknowledgments

Relativity by Antonia Hayes is published on 7th April and is available from Amazon UK. 

I received an advance review copy from Corsair in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Relationships– or what not to do 

   

An interesting story that blends insights into teenage girls; relationships old, new and slightly bizarre; the challenges of running a school and “modern” teenage trials and tribulations.
There’s a variety of characters including Eve, the formidable head of a Prep school, her ex-husband Simon and her two daughters, Zoe and Alice. Simon and his new partner Ed have adopted a son Jordan who has special needs and there’s also Eve’s secretary Gail and Gail’s dishy next door neighbour, Mike the SuperHead. Oh and there’s the super-wealthy Sorensons and Eve’s journalist BFF Cathy… 

After a lot of scene setting, Zoe is offered an internship with the Sorensons — and on her very first day is told she is flying to NYC with her male boss. Cue the drumroll. No spoilers, this was in the blurb!! 

What follows is as predictable as day follows night. Once it is revealed (and how will be kept under wraps or it spoils the story), the protagonists come together in a very modern fashion to address the fallout.

Clever, witty and spot-on with some of her observations, Kathryn Flett has given us a well-written story that unfolds in a pacy yet intriguing fashion. It’s also a cautionary tale for people whose children haven’t yet entered their teenage years…

MetLineReader Rating: 4🌟🌟🌟🌟 Jubilee 

About this book

Eve Sturridge, a high-flying divorcee and mother of two girls, is head teacher of Ivy House, an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ prep school in Sussex. Eve is passionate about her school and its pupils.

When Danish power couple, Stefan and Anette Sorenson, jet in and choose Ivy House over other schools, Eve is justifiably proud. The Sorensons are A-listers who bring an aura of style and power to Ivy House.

Zoe is Eve’s pretty seventeen-year-old daughter. Unlike her mother, Zoe’s not so keen on school. She prefers sending nude selfies to her boyfriend.
When glamorous Stefan Sorenson proposes that Zoe interns at his company and invites her to accompany him to New York, Zoe is over the moon with excitement, while Eve is too focused on her job to smell danger . . .

Acknowledgements 

My thanks to the publisher Quercus for an advance copy in exchange for a fair and honest review. Outstanding is published on Thursday 7th April and is available from Amazon and other bookshops.