After a brief hiatus filled with holidays, family, dogs in antlers, and shoving Christmas cookies down my gullet, I’m back and ready to blog!
(That doesn’t mean I’m done with the Christmas cookies. It just means I’m coming up for air long enough to talk about books again. And also getting powdered sugar all over my keyboard.)
As 2016 wraps up and I think about my bookish year in review, I’m naturally thinking about all of the literary hunks who hatched out of great fiction this year. There were so many a girl could go gaga over (and believe me, I have), but I think perhaps the dreamboat who hit me the hardest was our Literary Hunk of December, Darcy from Curtis Sittenfeld’s Eligible.
Eligible is a modern-day retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and it finds the Bennet sisters back at their family home in Cincinnati as their father recovers from a heart attack and the family faces financial ruin. Liz is a thirty-something writer, hung up in toxic limbo with the two-faced Jasper Wick. (A true Wickham if you will.) Her sister Jane is a yoga instructor who falls for the Bachelor-esque reality star Chip Bingley. Mary is onto her third online master’s degree, and Kitty and Lydia—as bratty as the originals—are obsessed with boys, Paleo diets, and CrossFit. The story pays perfect homage to the beloved Austen classic while remaining fresh, original, and wholly its own. (Think Clueless to Jane Austen’s Emma.) While I loved the book from top to bottom, the one thing that flung me in the air with glee and had me gushing for hours on end was the new—and dare I say vastly improved?—Darcy.
You may wonder, how can anyone out-Darcy Darcy? (And I’m not talking about Mark Darcy. He’s in a league of his own.) Sittenfeld’s Darcy takes everything we’ve loved about the OG Fitzwilliam D.—his snobbishness, his good heart, his good looks, his pride, his height—and raises it to the next level. Like the Darcy we know and love, he’s still difficult, he still comes off as rude at times, he still has good intentions underneath, and he still builds up this wall and persona to protect himself. But he’s no longer just some rich dude living off of his inheritance. He’s a neurosurgeon who is an avid runner and loves chili.
That’s right. He runs. He chows down on diner food. And then he saves lives.
Yes, he’s still a snob. Yes, he says he believes that women in Cincinnati are “graded on a curve.” Yes, his relationship with Liz would be a whole lot smoother if he let his guard down and wasn’t so curt, but what would be the fun in that? He’s also still incredibly honorable, the world’s best big brother, and the Bennet family’s knight in shining armor—with a few chili stains, perhaps.
I mean this with all due respect to Jane Austen’s Darcy, who I will love forever and who kicked off 2016 as our Literary Hunk of January: I’ll take Dr. Darcy in his running shoes any day.
If you haven’t read Eligible –especially if you’re a Pride and Prejudice fan—throw on your trainers and run to your nearest bookstore to snatch it up. In a year filled with fabulous fiction, Eligible and its modern-day Darcy shine among the best.
Who has been your favorite literary hunk this year? Leave a comment and let me know if there’s a fictional dreamboat out there I must check out!