It is a truth universally acknowledged that young single doctors will catch the attention of a mother with five marriageable daughters. That's the premise behind the latest reworking of Jane Austen's most beloved work, Pride and Prejudice.
In Eligible, best-selling American author Curtis Sittenfeld moves the setting from life among the landed gentry of Regency England to the middle-class environs of modern-day Cincinnati. The arrival of Dr. Chip Bingley—who recently starred in a reality dating show but emerged still single—as an emergency physician at Christ Hospital sends Mrs. Bennet into marriage-minded scheming for her daughters. Austen fans know Bingley's best friend is the proud and condescending Fitzwilliam Darcy, who in this version is a neurosurgeon. Dr. Darcy, who hails from San Francisco, is now wondering why he ever decided to move to Ohio, which he considers a bit provincial.
In Eligible, the two oldest Bennet daughters, yoga teacher Jane and magazine writer Elizabeth, return home from New York in the wake of their father's heart attack to find the family could lose their house because of towering medical debt. In the original, the threat to the family estate loomed because the Bennets lacked a male heir.