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  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2018/01/08 Permalink
    Tags: , , curmudgeons, , , , , jane austen, , , lovable grumps, , , the wolf and the dove,   

    Our Favorite Sexy Curmudgeons: 8 Guys Whose Frowns We Want to Turn Upside Down 

    No one wants to be tied to a grump, but once in a while we come across that brooding kind of man we wouldn’t mind cheering up. You know the type. He doesn’t give the best first impression, but once you get to know him, it’s easy to look past his gruff exterior and appreciate the wonderful man within. (And you just know all of that seriousness and pent-up longing will release itself in some very pleasant ways!) Guys like these may not always make the best Plus Ones at dinner parties, but they’ll definitely make you remember dessert.

    Here are 8 of the sexiest curmudgeons in romance who can brood all they want!

    Hareton from Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë
    No, we are NOT going in the Heathcliff direction! (True, he had it rough, but he was still awful.) Instead, let’s focus on Hareton. He wasn’t raised under the best of circumstances, to say the least, but throughout his harsh life he managed to show an innate sweetness. As he grew older he displayed a loyalty that would bode well for his upcoming marriage to young Catherine. A guy like that may not make the best impression on society, and he might curse in your presence upon your first meeting, but he’ll ultimately stay faithful to you and he’ll always be honest about his feelings.

    Sir William of Miraval in Candle in the Window, by Christina Dodd
    Sir William of Miraval is not the happiest of knights. He was blinded in battle, and his caretakers are growing frustrated with his awful attitude and poor hygiene. (Dude’s quite depressed, so he gets a pass at being curmudgeonly.) He meets his match when Lady Saura of Roget is summoned to help him get his act together. She’s blind, too, but this is a woman who know how to run a house and keep everyone in line. William soon falls in love with her, and he displays a fierce loyalty that would make any woman sigh. William, we knew that beneath that rugged, filthy, muscled exterior was a tender-hearted man yearning to break free!

    Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
    There are many mighty good reasons why Mr. Darcy ALWAYS comes up in romantic conversations. He didn’t always have the best manners, and he could hardly be called the life of the party, but when a guy is willing to help your crazy family by keeping your nutty sister on the straight and narrow, well, there’s a lot to be said for that. (Imagine a guy who stays with you even though your extended family posts weird things on social media on an hourly basis.) Mr. Darcy, you practically invented the smolder, so you can smolder all you want!

    Wulfgar from The Wolf and the Dove, by Kathleen Woodiwiss
    To be fair, this Medieval knight had an exceptionally harsh life. He was a bastard, which wasn’t easy in those days. (He and Jon Snow of Game of Thrones would probably have a great deal to talk about.) You’re also under a lot of pressure when William the Conqueror wants you to, well, help him conquer England. This attitude of his mostly changes, though, when his posse conquers Darkenwald, the home of the very proud and beautiful Aislinn. It takes a very long time until they actually get along, and boy it’s fun to read that roller coaster of a relationship. Carry on with your growling ways, Wulfgar, and flex your muscles while you’re at it!

    Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë
    Love him or hate him, Mr. Rochester was a curmudgeonly curmudgeon who needed some major intervention—and lots of time to soul-search—before he could find some inner peace and have his happy ending with Jane. True, he’d been through a lot in his life—bad marriage, saddled with a kid he wasn’t even sure was his, lost his eyesight, lost his hand, and more—but that doesn’t excuse some of the things he did. (Buddy, you might want to consider taking up poetry writing!) Still, he had some good qualities, and he ultimately changed for the better thanks to Jane. Mr. Rochester, brood as you please, and please make sure you show Jane your appreciation as often as humanely possible!

    Rocco from A Girl’s Guide to Moving On, by Debbie Macomber
    Poor Rocco’s a little bit in over his head. He’s the macho-est of macho men, and he has a teenage daughter with whom he doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye. Fortunately he meets Nichole, the modern-day equivalent of a gently-bred lady who recently ditched her cheating husband. Rocco may be more at home in a biker bar than, well, in many other places, but he’s solid, muscly proof that surprises can come in the most unexpected of packages. Rocco, bring on the cranky. We know that inside you’re really just a marshmallow with nothing but love for your woman!

    Rhys Winterborne in Marrying Winterborne, by Lisa Kleypas
    Welshman Rhys Winterborne worked extremely hard to get to where he is. He owns a major department store, and even though he is supremely wealthy, his modest background means that society doesn’t have much room for him at their social gatherings. He’s determined to win over his lady love, and what’s more, he knows he’s not always the most pleasant man to be around. You can’t go wrong with a guy who admits his faults and is eager to prove his devotion. That said, he also shows an exceptionally sweet and caring side. Rhys, no one is fooled! Admit it. You’re a softie.

    Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades series, by E.L. James
    Christian makes all of the other guys on this list seem joyful by comparison. He spends a lot of time brooding over Anastasia and his dark past. (Christian, buddy, you should seriously consider volunteering at an animal shelter. Giving your time just might help!) And he certainly knows how to, ahem, release his frustrations. Whether his dark ways turn you on or off, no woman can deny that life with Christian would never be boring!

    Who are your favorite fictional curmudgeons?

    The post Our Favorite Sexy Curmudgeons: 8 Guys Whose Frowns We Want to Turn Upside Down appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2017/10/04 Permalink
    Tags: , , answered prayers, , anthony trollope, , , , , , , , , , j. g. ballard, jane austen, joan weigall, , , , , , picnic at hanging rock, , , the adventures of huckleberry finn, the macdermots of ballycloran, , , , , through the looking glass, , why I want to f*ck ronald reagan   

    15 of the Most Infamous Deleted Chapters in History 

    Revision is a vital aspect of creation; all authors delete, re-write, and occasionally burn entire manuscripts with tears streaming down their faces. Most of the time, deleted chapters occur so early in the writing process that they’re not relevant—or interesting. They’re just the cost of doing literary business. Sometimes, though, the story behind excised material is almost as interesting as the finished version of the book it comes from. The fifteen chapters listed here didn’t make it into the published version of the book—but that hasn’t stopped them from being part of the conversation.

    Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
    Heller’s classic 1961 novel, one of the funniest, darkest, and most complex ever written, took about eight years to write—and remains the defining work of Heller’s career. Put simply, if you’re discussing Joseph Heller, you’re discussing Catch-22, and even Heller seemed to accept this towards the end of his life. Much of his late output was directly connected to his first novel, and in 2003 he published the collection Catch as Catch Can which contained two deleted chapters from Catch-22: “Love, Dad” and “Yossarian Survives” (both of which had been previously published). The chapters provide some background on Nately and Yossarian while offering some of Heller’s most savage mockery of the military—and both chapters work perfectly well as standalone stories, making them perhaps the rare examples of chapters deleted from books because they were too good.

    Dracula, by Bram Stoker
    Stoker’s novel is one of the most influential in all of history, but it originally ended a bit differently from the version you’re familiar with. A deleted chapter detailed Dracula’s castle literally falling apart as he dies. It’s not very long—a grace note, really—and there are several theories as to why Stoker excised it very close to its publication. Some people think he might have been envisioning a sequel and wanted to hedge his bets. Others think he might have worried about being accused of stealing the concept from Edgar Allan Poe. Whatever the reason, reading the chapter does change the tone of the novel just enough to make it significant.

    The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
    Wilde’s only novel originally contained a great deal of homosexual imagery, sexual allusions, and other edgy stuff that made his publisher’s head explode. So his editor forced him to cut a great deal of this “objectionable” material. Even so, the book created a stir upon publication, as it still contained passages that outraged a lot of people, and so Wilde revised the book a second time in an effort to make it acceptable. Wilde’s reward was a novel everyone is still reading and, of course, a few years in jail simply for being a homosexual. In 2011 the uncensored version of the book was finally published with the deleted chapters restored, so you can now read the book in all its dirty glory.

    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
    In the early versions of Dahl’s beloved book there were actually eight kids brought into Wonka’s factory, and they had some different adventures—including the original chapter 5, which brings the children and their parents into the Vanilla Fudge Room, where a literal mountain of fudge is worked on by Wonka’s servants with picks and hammers, sending boulders of fudge down to the floor where they’re grabbed by cranes and sent on wagons into a hole in the wall. Sounds delightful until two of the kids and their parents ignore Wonka’s warnings and ride the wagons to what they think will be fudge heaven. Instead, Wonka reveals that the fudge is tipped out of the wagons into a machine that pounds it thin then chops it up. Dahl’s publisher thought this was a bit too nasty for kids, and so the chapter was deleted and didn’t see the light of day until 2014.

    The Martian, by Andy Weir
    The Martian by Andy Weir went through a lot of revision. The original version posted on Weir’s website—still available online if you know where to look—is very different from the final version. A few years ago Weir went on Reddit for an unannounced, secret “Ask Me Anything” session and revealed the original epilogue of the story, which featured Mark Watney cursing at a child who asks him if he’d return to Mars if they asked him. It’s actually kind of a delightful ending, and one we wish they would have included in the movie.

    Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
    The original ending of Dickens’ famous novel was kind of dark and sad: Pip and Estella meet years after the events of the novel, but instead of a bittersweet moment implying a future for the two, both are simply bitter, and they part on savage terms. Dickens liked this ending because he thought it was unexpected and original, but his Beta Readers disagreed, so he changed the chapter to the version we’re all familiar with. After publication he went back and revised the final line, coming up with the perfect “I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”

    Why I Want to F*ck Ronald Reagan, by J. G. Ballard
    In the late 1960s, Ronald Reagan was something new: one of the first “media politicians” who knew that how you said something was more important than what you said, as well as one of the first “far right” politicians in mainstream politics. Although a decade and a half from the presidency, he made an impact that J.G. Ballard found interesting, and he wrote a short work styled as an academic paper describing bizarre experiments to measure Reagan’s sexual appeal. It was meant to be challenging and confrontational—and it sure was. It was originally included in Ballard’s collection The Atrocity Exhibition, but the American publisher of the book actually destroyed the entire printing rather than let it loose on the country. Let that sink in: the publisher destroyed every copy of the book rather than publish this. If there’s a better reason to read it, we’re unaware.

    A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
    It’s well-known that the last chapter of Burgess’ novel was deleted before it was published in the United States; the publisher thought the “softer” ending in which Alex starts to mature and see that his behavior in the earlier portions of the book was wrong would turn off American readers. Indeed, many still prefer the way the book ended in the truncated version, which is also the beat Stanley Kubrick’s classic film version ends on: Alex dreaming of violence, thinking “I was cured all right.”

    The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
    Wells’ novel about a man who invents a time machine established not just one of the sturdiest sci-fi tropes of all time, but a template for the modern speculative novel. Wells’ publisher insisted he add a section showing mankind’s ultimate evolutionary fate, and Wells obliged under protest, writing a chapter in which the time traveler escapes the Morlocks by traveling into the distant future, where he encounters small mammals which he determines are the descendants of humanity. Wells never liked it and had it removed as soon as he was able, and while the story, which you can read under the standalone title “The Grey Man,” is interesting, the book is much better without it.

    Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll
    Lewis Carroll’s sequel to Alice in Wonderland is more Alice than Alice in many ways. The illustrator working on the book sent Carroll a note saying he wasn’t inspired by the “wasp chapter”, and suggested none-too-subtly that if Carroll were looking to cut the book down a bit, the Wasp part would be the place to start. No one knew what he was referring to, however—until 1976 when the missing “Wasp in a Wig” chapter was put up for auction. One problem, however: no one has ever been able to verify that this was actually written by Carroll. Reading it, the reason people have doubts is pretty clear: it’s awful. Either Carroll cut the one example of bad writing he ever managed…or he didn’t write it.

    Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Weigall
    Weigall’s 1967 novel was a sensation at the time, despite the fact that it literally had no ending. The story of college students who disappear while visiting Hanging Rock in Australia was originally ended with a pretty crazy explanation of everything that happened, but Weigall’s publisher suggested the book might do better without the, um, crazy part and so the final chapter was deleted (you can read it here if you want), meaning that the story just stops, and no explanation is offered at all for the mystery. This actually fueled the book’s success, making it into a “must read” at the time. If the Internet had existed in 1967, this book would have broken it.

    The MacDermots of Ballycloran, by Anthony Trollope
    Trollope had very low expectations for his first novel, and these were borne out when it didn’t do very well. Although the novel has gained in reputation since its initial lackluster publication, you have to be careful to get the original 1847 version, because Trollope later hacked his book to death in an effort to…improve it, we guess? He deleted three chapters and changed a great deal of what makes the original novel interesting (mainly the Irish dialects, politics, and the character flaws). The revised version isn’t nearly as good, and the three missing chapters are, ironically, some of the best writing in the book.

    Answered Prayers, by Truman Capote
    Capote’s transformation from brilliant writer to alcoholic gadfly took about twenty years, and in that time he continuously accepted advances and signed contracts for Answered Prayers, a novel he never got around to finishing. Four chapters were published in magazines (the first, “La Côte Basque 1965,” was so obviously based on his real-life friends and acquaintances Capote pretty much lost every friend he had) and they’re pretty hefty, amounting to a novel’s worth of text if put together. But several other chapters have been referenced in Capote’s correspondence—and he claimed he’d written the final chapter first so he’d know where he was going—that have yet to turn up anywhere.

    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
    Twain, never one to be typical, wasn’t satisfied to delete a mere chapter, instead opting to delete 665 manuscript pages, essentially an entire shadow version of his all-time classic novel. Twain paused work on the book for three years, and scholars have long argued over where exactly he broke off and what he changed when he returned to the book. The deleted chapters contain plenty of material not present in the final book, and have proved invaluable in trying to determine Twain’s intentions and process.

    Persuasion, by Jane Austen
    Austen was one of the most meticulous writers of all time, and put a lot of effort into revising her novels. Persuasion is one of the few in which we can compare early drafts to see how the novel developed, and Austen’s deleted chapters show a ruthless approach to improving the pacing of the plot and the creation of her characters. Assembling earlier versions of the novel show what her original inspiration was, how her ideas changed as she worked, and cast some light on the sausage-making underneath the charming and compelling narratives Austen created.

    Did we miss any famous deleted chapters?

    The post 15 of the Most Infamous Deleted Chapters in History appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 8:30 pm on 2016/09/01 Permalink
    Tags: , , hans christen anderson, jane austen, never gonna give you up   

    The Top 6 Unrequited Loves in Literary History 

    Love is universal, an emotion just about every single person experiences on some level (aside, perhaps, from sociopaths and those who reject the Oxford Comma). There are many forms of love, from maternal to filial to romantic, and each can be horrifying and destructive in its own way. But the most awesomely destructive form of love is unrequited love. This is probably why writers so often introduce unrequited love into their stories: it’s rocket fuel for plot engines. It also might be due to the artistic temperament’s tendency to fall in love with those it can’t have, which happens more often in literary circles than you’d imagine. Here are a few of the most interesting cases of unrequited love in history, inspired by Jonathan Safran Foer’s new novel, Here I Am, for no reason whatsoever.

    Jonathan Safran Foer and Natalie Portman
    Oh wait, no, there totally is a reason Foer’s new novel inspired this rumination on unrequited literary love. After Foer interviewed actress Natalie Portman in The New York Times, seemingly everyone remembered simultaneously that Foer’s marriage apparently collapsed because he fell in love with Portman while working with her on a film adaptation of his nonfiction book Eating Animals. The story goes that Foer told his wife about his decision to be with Portman before checking with Portman, who basically Bye, Felicia’d him. As far as cringe-worthy stories of unrequited love go, this one takes the cake. While a disintegrating marriage does feature in Here I Am, it’s not the focus of this sprawling, epic-scale novel—a novel that has a pretty good shot of making us forget all about Natalie Portman.

    Jane Austen and Tom Lefroy
    No one can prove that Jane Austen was hopelessly in love with Tom Lefroy, or that Lefroy was the inspiration for Mr. Darcy, or anything beyond the documented facts that Austen and Lefroy flirted a bit and had some sort of go-nowhere relationship. The circumstantial evidence is powerful, however: Austen wrote three novels in a furiously passionate period immediately following her time with Lefroy, hinting at some sort of powerful emotional event—like, say, the man you’d fallen in love with leaving you to pursue (an admittedly brilliant) legal career.

    Charlotte Brontë and Constantin Heger
    Slightly sadder is Charlotte Brontë’s story of unrequited love, wherein she apparently fell hopelessly in love with older, married professor Constantin Heger, who taught the Brontë sisters French. After leaving school, Charlotte wrote Constantin a lot, which obviously delighted his wife, who rebuked the future author and demanded she stop writing so much. Constantin didn’t respond, and the letters become sadder and sadder, until Charlotte finally stopped writing altogether. Four of the letters survive, although three were mysteriously torn up and then mended—or, better said, three were not at all mysteriously torn up, but mysteriously mended.

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Charlotte Buff
    Goethe was a rock star in 18th-century Germany. His novel The Sorrows of Young Werther is widely regarded as not only the motivating work of the so-called Sturm und Drang literary movement, but was arguably the world’s  first bestseller. Goethe was just 24 when he wrote it, and he dashed it off in just a few weeks of passionate work—probably because he had just been kicked to the curb by Charlotte Buff, who inspired the character of Lotte. Goethe came to be intensely embarrassed by a book he regarded as juvenalia, although in his later years, he came around to appreciate it as a work that many people connected with.

    Hans Christian Andersen and Everybody He Met
    Hans Christian Andersen is mainly known as that guy who wrote every single fairy tale you’ve ever heard, but he was a prolific writer in general. He was also a guy who apparently fell in love with almost everyone he met, who once wrote in his diary “Give me a bride! My blood wants love, as my heart does!” In his younger days he fell in love with a woman named Riborg Voigt; upon his death 50 years later, a letter from her was found along with his body. In-between were many other objects of Andersen’s affection—men and women—but no one, as far as we know, returned the sentiments.

    Emily Dickinson and Master
    Chances are if you don’t know anything else about Emily Dickinson, you know that her poems can all be easily sung, thanks to her dedication to common meter—nothing beats singing “Because I could not stop for Death, he kindly stopped for me” to the Gilligan’s Island theme song. But Dickinson’s life is one of mystery, and surprisingly little is known of her, partly due to the fact that her fame as a poet didn’t come until after she’d died. What is known is that in addition to many poems that reference unrequited love (as well as death and funerals), Dickinson left behind several drafts of letters to an unnamed “Master” that imply tortured, unfulfilled desires. Many theories attempt to identify Master, but the fact is, we’ll probably never know who set afire the heart of one of our greatest poets.

     

     
  • Kat Rosenfield 3:00 pm on 2016/08/01 Permalink
    Tags: , art imitating life, , , Colette, iris murdoch, jane austen, mary wollstonecraft, , , ,   

    The Bell Jar Gets a Movie, and 5 More Biopics About Women Writers 

    Sylvia Plath is one of modern literature’s most celebrated, complicated women, which is why it’s astonishing that it has taken this long for her famed novel The Bell Jar to get an outing in Hollywood (unless you count the awful, unsuccessful 1979 attempt by an all-male writing and directing team to adapt the novel for the screen…and really, it would be best for all of us if we just pretend that never happened.)

    But now, per a report from Deadline, The Bell Jar is finally getting the movie adaptation it deserves, with Kirsten Dunst directing and Dakota Fanning in the starring role of Esther Greenwood—a character who’s more or less an avatar for Plath herself in the largely autobiographical story about a young woman struggling with mental illness.

    Production on the movie won’t start until early next year, so it’ll be awhile yet before we see whether Dunst and her crew can do this story justice. But knowing that the lives of fierce literary ladies tend to make for great movies (when they’re done right), we’re feeling optimistic! Consider these five grand dames of literature who have gotten (or are about to get) a big-screen outing.

    Virginia Woolf
    Although The Hours was written by a man, it was Virginia Woolf’s life and legacy that inspired the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel—and when the novel was adapted for film, it was Nicole Kidman’s searing performance as the author that won the Academy Award.

    Mary Wollstonecraft
    While big sister Dakota is gearing up to play Plath’s heroine, Elle Fanning has signed on to star in a biopic of another awesome woman writer: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, founding mother of feminism and author of the seminal sci-fi novel Frankenstein. That movie, A Storm in the Stars, will be out later this year.

    Jane Austen
    It is a truth universally acknowledged that the makers of Becoming Jane probably took a few liberties vis-a-vis the seriousness of Jane Austen’s IRL romance with Thomas Langlois Lefroy, but that’s probably because so frustratingly little is known about the personal life of the woman who introduced the world to Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy that even the most knowledgeable Austen biographers have had to fill in the blanks.

    Colette
    Colette’s novels, Cheri and The Last of Cheri, have already been made into a delicious (and highly underrated) film starring Michelle Pfeiffer as an aging courtesan and Rupert Friend as the bratty, beautiful title character, but the writer herself had a fascinating life—which will be the subject of an upcoming biopic starring Keira Knightley.

    Iris Murdoch
    The Irish writer—who penned more than two dozen novels, four books of philosophy, five plays, and a libretto before succumbing to Alzheimer’s disease in 1999—was portrayed as a young woman by Kate Winslet and an old one by Judi Dench in the 2001 biopic Iris. In addition to being a literary powerhouse, Murdoch was one half of a fascinating, eccentric literary power couple (not unlike Plath was with Ted Hughes); her husband, John Bayley, wrote the memoir that served as source material for the movie about her life.

     
  • Sona Charaipotra 3:30 pm on 2016/04/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , jane austen, , ,   

    Curtis Sittenfeld’s Austen Update Eligible Explores Modern Pride and Prejudices 

    And now for something completely different. Well, sort of. Fans of Curtis Sittenfeld have come to expect her deceptively lighthearted skewerings of American culture, from the boarding school drama of Prep, to the Washington elite in American Wife (with a heroine modeled on Laura Bush). Her latest should seem like a divergence—she takes on Jane Austen’s beloved Pride and Prejudice in modern American retelling Eligible. And while she remains relatively faithful to Austen’s much respun plot (see also: Clueless, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the Bollywood-ified Bride & Prejudice), Eligible stays true, too, to Sittenfeld’s signature subtly snarky take-down of tired American mores.

    In Eligible, our dear Lizzy Bennet, 38, is a New York City magazine writer—a freelancer suffering all that state’s presumed indignities while penning feminist-ish stories for the fictional Mascara magazine—who’s having a not-quite-affair with a sort-of married man named Jasper Wick (shades of Mr. Wickham). Her older sister Jane, a nearly 40-year-old yoga instructor making peace with modern spinsterhood, has just started experimenting with IVF treatments, in preparation for becoming a single mother.

    The pair return to their family’s crumbling Cincinnati, Ohio, Tudor house after their beleaguered, wisecracking father suffers a heart attack, and their opinionated, utterly marriage-obsessed mother is too busy chairing the next big charity shindig to look after him. There are three other Bennet girls still living at home who could manage the task—antisocial Mary, who locks herself in her room while working on her third online degree, and CrossFit-obsessed, unemployed millennials Kitty and Lydia—but none of them can be bothered.

    Finding themselves back home, Jane and Lizzie quickly become their mother’s next project, especially when she discovers that former reality TV bachelor Chip Bingley—a hot doctor, naturally—has landed a gig at their local ER. He brings with him a high-end “manager” sister and cranky neurosurgeon pal Fitzwilliam Darcy. Meanwhile, tech genius step-cousin Willie Collins pays a visit, and might just be a great catch for Lizzie—at least according to her mom. You see where this is all headed, of course.

    But let’s be clear: this ain’t your mama’s Austen. Sittenfeld’s version infuses the classic with modern-day pitfalls and pratfalls: Tinder hookups and sexting, online shopping addiction (Mrs. Bennet’s, of course), country club culture and big city snobbery, feminism and fertility. (At one point, step-cousin Willie says to our feisty heroine—after confessing an encounter with a prostitute, no less—“For someone like you, with your quality of genes, not to have kids would be a real waste.” Sigh.)

    Things come to a head when hate leads to hookups, and the charming Chip leaves Jane hanging. Meanwhile, the girls discover there’s a reason the Tudor is crumbling. Their parents are broke, and the lifestyle to which they’ve all become very accustomed will soon be obsolete if they don’t do something about it—and fast.

    Fast-paced, frothy, and fun, Sittenfeld’s story offers a strong commentary on the failings (including classism, racism, and homophobia) of the formerly upper-middle class in Middle America (without sparing the coasts, either). And while this Darcy might not have you swooning a la Colin Firth, Sittenfeld does pull off a charming modernization that can stand on its own stilettos.

    Eligible is on sale today.

     
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