Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Good morning, everyone! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Joanna Trollope's Sense & Sensibility. This latest from Trollope is part of The Austen Project, a new series of Jane Austen reimaginings from Harper - modernized twists on the classic tales! Trollope's Sense & Sensibility is the project's launch title and 2014 will see Val McDermid's Northanger Abbey and Curtis Sittenfeld's Pride & Prejudice.

Henry Dashwood has died leaving his second wife (though some question whether they were really married) and his three daughters almost penniless and homeless. Norland Park, the estate they'd long called home, is to go to Henry's son by his first marriage. And while John supposedly promised his father he'd care for the Dashwood women, his wife has insisted that they leave. Belle and her daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, are fortunate in that one of Henry's cousins has offered them a place on his own property. It does mean relocating to Devon and enduring their gregarious host family, but it's surely better than the alternative. Life as the Dashwoods know it seems to have been forever changed, though, as they face the loss of not only their home but the status their name once gave them.

If you're familiar with Sense & Sensibility in any of its forms (the book or the various movie adaptations), you'll notice that Trollope hasn't deviated from the main premise. It does make reading this new modern twist easy in that there's no question what will happen. It's instead a reassuring return to a classic tale but with slight differences to account for the twenty-first century.

I must have more sensibility than sense considering Elinor is the character I always most closely associate with in this story and Brandon is the one I've always found to be more romantic when it comes to the male leads in the story. I alternate between finding Marianne sweet and somewhat endearing and overwhelmingly annoying and shallow. As for Willoughby and Edward, neither of them is exactly my kind of guy. None of that's changed in Trollope's version.

Is it necessary to rework Austen? Probably not. But still, I found Trollope's S&S to be highly entertaining and I thought she did a wonderful job of staying true to the classic and capturing the essence of Austen. As a bonus read for you, Trollope wrote this excellent piece for Waterstones explaining why S&S is both timeless and perfect for a modern audience.

Rating: 4.5/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here. And for more on Joanna Trollope and her work, visit her website at www.joannatrollope.com.

For more on The Austen Project, click the link above to visit the official site. You can also like the project on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

The original is one of the few Austen that I haven't read, though of course I've seen television adaptations. I'm glad you enjoyed this new version! Thanks for being on the tour.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

"As for Willoughby and Edward, neither of them is exactly my kind of guy."

None of the men in this story floated my boat :p As a matter of fact, I got irritated with the women for chasing them around. Surely there were other eligible, more dependable, nice guys to choose from in the 21st century. ;)

Enjoyed your review :)