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While Joanna Trollope is a fine author, her modern interpretation of Sense and Sensibility adds surprisingly little to the original story. I'm not sure if it's because it hews very closely to Jane Austen, or Ms. Trollope has nothing original to say about these characters, or because the situation of dispossessed women unable or unwilling to take a job that would entail a drop in social class has also changed surprisingly little. I wouldn't read it as a substitute for the original -- for example, Marianne is portrayed as mostly selfish and amazingly rude, whereas Miss Austen knew there was more to her than that, and even that Elinor was occasionally wrong. But if you like fiction in her style, this Sense and Sensibility is miles ahead of other books that rip her off -- er, are inspired by her.
Instead of trying to copy Jane Austen's style, or taking Austen characters and moving their stories forward into mysteries and so forth, Trollope has followed the story-line and re-written Sense and Sensibility from a modern perspective. The girls text, they listen to cds, the mother is a bit of an artist with an artistic temperament, etc. It works quite well. I enjoyed the book, and I finished it, which is more than I can say for most of the others who've borrowed from Austen for their own literary ends!
One can hardly give it zero stars given the source material, but my, what an unimaginative, scene by scene retelling, rather like a paint-by-numbers version of an old master. Several plot points simply do not work in the 21st century: Edward's obligation to marry Lucy doesn't carry the same weight,and since no two young people could possibly go more than a few hours without texting each other unless one was dead or comatose, Willoughby's failure to communicate with Marianne becomes highly implausible, and everyone's willingness to make excuses for him frankly bizarre. Giving Marianne the same chronic asthma which killed her father is a nice touch, but it makes her indifference to her health appear even more self-indulgent and childish than in the original.
For a truly masterful, creative re-working of S&S, try The Weisssman's of Westport or the films From Prada to Nada (set in contemporary L.A.) or I Have Found It (mid 20th century India).
I found this to be a pleasant enough read. However the story does not translate well into modern life. Hopefully women don't just sit around pining for a man now. What does Belle and Marianne and Margaret live on? welfare? disability? That is not properly explained. Elinor cannot afford to support her entire family on her salary which would be low (minimum-wage?), considering her lack of prefessional qualifications and work experience. Surely the inheritance/common-law- marriage laws are more updated in the UK to ensure that Belle would receive all or at least half the value of the family estate when Henry died? FP
Clever witty and funny modernized version of S&S - same characters two centuries on in contemporary England. Moral of the tale is still sadly relevant - women who rely on men to look after them financially are taking a big risk - with the difference that at least Eleanor can train to be an architect!
Having just finished Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility, I thought it would be interesting to read this modern day version of the story. Trollope does a good job of it. All the characters have the same names as the original book and the plot tracks in a similar way, but with nicely done tweaks to really bring it to the present day. Elinor is an architect student, Margaret is a stereotypical teenage girl with her "whatever" and eye-rolling, actually more of a presence here than the original. Marianne is overly emotional in both books, but here her illness (and that of her dead father) is asthma. I won't give the details of all the changes, but they do all fit nicely with both the old plot and the modern day.
Very nicely done.
Inexplicably silly and trite. Truly a waste of paper. Joanna Trollope is no Jane Austen but she can do much better than this -
I really like Joanna Trollope's novels, but I really could not get into this one.
It is Jane Austen?s story told in contemporary times.
Joanna Trollope did well in this first of The Austen Project offerings. Despite setting an Eighteenth Century tale in the Twenty-first Century, I thought this well done enough if not taken too seriously. Of course, I can?t imagine anyone reading it wouldn?t have enjoyed the real thing more.
I had reservations about this book before I read it and still have.It is the brainchild of the Austen Project. 6 authors have been asked to re-imagine Jane Austen's novels in a modern setting. Joanna Trollope's Sense and Sensibility was the first.Joanna Trollope it isn't. Neither is it Jane Austen. I don't think it was a good idea to endeavour to honour Jane Austen in this way, not that the result is disrespectful.Nevertheless Joanna Trollope is a far better writer when using her own people and scenarios.The book does not bear any comparison with Jo Baker's Longbourn, written of the time of Pride and Prejudice from the servants' point of view.I doubt I will perservere with the remaining titles when they are published.