Sunday, November 10, 2013

Book Review: Sense & Sensibility

Sense & Sensibility (The Austen Project)Author: Joanna Trollope
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Publisher: Harper
Series: The Austen Project

From one of the most insightful chroniclers of family life working in fiction today comes a contemporary retelling of Jane Austen's classic novel of love, money, and two very different sisters

John Dashwood promised his dying father that he would take care of his half sisters. But his wife, Fanny, has no desire to share their newly inherited estate with Belle Dashwood's daughters. When she descends upon Norland Park with her Romanian nanny and her mood boards, the three Dashwood girls-Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret-are suddenly faced with the cruelties of life without their father, their home, or their money.

As they come to terms with life without the status of their country house, the protection of the family name, or the comfort of an inheritance, Elinor and Marianne are confronted by the cold hard reality of a world where people's attitudes can change as drastically as their circumstances.

With her sparkling wit, Joanna Trollope casts a clever, satirical eye on the tales of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood. Reimagining Sense and Sensibility in a fresh, modern new light, she spins the novel's romance, bonnets, and betrothals into a wonderfully witty coming-of-age story about the stuff that really makes the world go around. For when it comes to money, some things never change. . . .

Fanny had wanted a man and a big house with land and lots of money to run it and a child, preferably a boy. And she had got them. All of them. And nothing, absolutely nothing, was going to stand in the way of her keeping them and consolidating them. Nothing.

“Golly,” Sir John said. “Golly. Have all my Christmases come at once? Or what? Aren’t you all gorgeous?”

Sometimes over the years she had looked at Marianne and envied her ability to abandon herself almost ecstatically to music, or place, or literature or – as so intensely in the present case – to love.

I am so excited about this new series of books called The Austen Project coming from Harper. Joanna Trollope’s Sense & Sensibility was just the start of what I am sure will be a delight for all Austen fans, young and old. 2014 will see retellings of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and Northanger Abbey. This book only made me want to dive back into Austen’s novels. What I loved most about this book is that even though Austen’s books don’t need to be retold, Trollope does it in such a way that nothing major is taken away and fans will still appreciate the richness of the literature.

Trollope does not stray too far from the original story and plot line of Sense & Sensibility, the original version. The modern twist that Trollope adds is enough to appeal to new readers, maybe of younger generations, and hopefully point them towards Austen’s original work after reading this version. The language of Austen’s novels is what I find scares off my high school juniors and seniors, and I think books like this are the answer to easing younger generations into appreciating Austen like the rest of us do.

I also greatly enjoyed Trollope’s genuine effort to stick as close as possible to Austen’s characters. Trollope keeps Marianne, Elinor, and Willoughby in their natural form and even develops them the same as Austen did. I still connect with the exact same characters, whether it’s the original or a twenty-first century retelling. I can see where and why some people will disagree with me; however, I stand by what I said in this review. I truly believe that these retellings do not take away from the originals, and would recommend them to any Jane Austen fan!

***A copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Harper in exchange for my honest review***

No comments:

Post a Comment