Review: Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

I found this book to be more of a modernization of the original story versus a modern day retelling. At the beginning of the story, there seemed to be modern elements just thrown into the original book: earbugs, Facebook, TV, etc. As the book progressed, the overall story became more modern: Elinor finds a job, Willoughby is driving a car, etc,  Some of the elements of the original story translated fine to modern day, such as the relationship between Elinor and Marianne and their different reactions to heartache. However, some things did not port over well. It seemed odd for land to be inherited by the oldest male and for a man to be marrying someone simply for money in a modern society.

That being said I still greatly enjoyed the book. I’ve never read the original Jane Austen book, but I have seen the movie many times. I plowed through this book and found it enjoyable to be reading such a familiar story. This version is an easy read with a great amount of dialog and easy to understand language. Is it wrong of me to have enjoyed this “dumbed down” version of the book?

The core story of Elinor and Marianne is the same. Elinor is her usual responsible self and Marianne is the emotional wreck who feels too deeply. Perhaps because I’ve only seen the movie, I found the insight into both girls’ heads to be a nice addition. I got to see that they were both aware of their differences and so obviously envied the other sister at times.

Edward is as lovable as always in this book and Wills (Willoughby) is just as detestable. Mags (Margaret) gets some more love than she does in the movie at least. All of the supporting characters are present and enjoyable to read.

The only thing I didn’t like about the book were the occasional first person snippets. I found it to be confusing that some short segments changed perspective. Sometimes when inside a character’s head, it was still told in 3rd person, and only a few times, it switched to first person. I don’t know why that was done.

Otherwise, I loved the book. I wish I had been able to read it without prior knowledge of the story. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series, and I look forward to Northanger Abbey which I know nothing about.

Rating: 4 Stars

This review was originally published on Mom’s Radius.

Sense & Sensibility
The Austen Project #1
Joanna Trollope
October 29, 2013

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...

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