The “Open Afternoon Book Club” will meet in the Story Garden Room on Wednesday, October 19th, at 1:00 pm. This month, the group will discuss Eligible: A Novel (2016), by Curtis Sittenfeld, and Emma: A Modern Retelling (2014), by Alexander McCall Smith. In both works the authors provide fresh takes on Jane Austen’s timeless stories, transplanting her beloved characters into our modern world.
Eligible: A Novel is a reimagining of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. In Sittenfeld’s version, Elizabeth (Liz) Bennet is a magazine writer in her thirties who, like her yoga instructor sister Jane, lives in New York City. When their father suffers a health scare, the pair is summoned home. The sisters arrive in Cincinnati to find their childhood home in disrepair and their family in a state of chaos. Liz’s frivolous younger sisters, Kitty and Lydia, are unemployed and fitness-obsessed; Mary, the middle sister, has become a recluse, confining herself to her room as she works on a third online master’s degree. Mrs. Bennet is eager to marry off her daughters, especially Jane, who is nearing forty. At a Fourth of July barbeque, Jane catches the eye of Chip Bingley, a handsome doctor who recently appeared on the reality TV dating showEligible. While Chip charms the Bennet girls, his friend, neurosurgeoun Fitzwilliam Darcy, makes a less than favorable first impression . . .
In Emma: A Modern Retelling (2014), McCall Smith brings Austen’s meddlesome heroine into the twenty-first century. Emma Woodhouse returns home after University to prepare for the launch of her interior design business. Back in the village of Highbury she is reunited with her hypochondriac father, old friends, and acquaintances. Emma sees herself as a naturally gifted matchmaker. She decides to use her imagined skills and wisdom to fix the lives of the people of Highbury. Emma provides often-imprudent guidance to Harriet Smith, a charming young ESL teacher’s assistant; Frank Churchill, the attractive stepson of her former governess; George Knightley, Emma’s brother-in-law and friend; the charming Philip Elton; and the faultless Jane Fairfax.
Books are available at the circulation desk.
All events at the Cazenovia Public Library are free and open to the public. For more information on the “Open Afternoon Book Club” or other Library events, call 655-9322 or visit www.cazenoviapubliclibrary.org.