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Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Sense & Sensibility (original 2013; edition 2013)

by Joanna Trollope (Author)

Series: The Austen Project (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4403340,819 (3.1)37
A modern retelling of the Jane Austen classic follows the Dashwood sisters--Elinor, Marianne and Margaret--as they, after the death of their father, must come to terms with the cruelties of life without the status of their country house, the protection of the family name or the comfort of an inheritance.… (more)
Title:Sense & Sensibility
Authors:Joanna Trollope (Author)
Info:HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2013), 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope (2013)

  1. 00
    Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid (dizzyweasel)
    dizzyweasel: Another book in The Austen Project, wherein popular contemporary authors take on Jane Austen's novels and "update" them for the modern world. Not as wonderful or as complex as the originals, but fun re-imaginings.

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» See also 37 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
A completely pointless piece of writing. ( )
  KayCliff | Aug 30, 2020 |
It is possibly true to say that I was never going to read Joanna Trollope's Sense and Sensibility with a totally clear mind. It annoys me that, rather than encouraging people to read and appreciate the wit, the beautiful prose, of Austen's novels, and to learn of and understand the social mores that existed, and which still influence some prejudices these days, it has been considered appropriate to dumb down the classics to the status of chick lit.

And dumbing down is certainly what Trollope has done, with this book apparently aimed at viewers of scripted reality shows like Made In Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex. The Dashwood family sneer at a part-time, Devon-based salary of £18k, they think an Alfa Romeo Spyder Mark 4 is a typical engagement gift.

But these are not the important elements of a book. For me to enjoy a book, it must have a good story, and good characters. Austen had both of these in abundance. Trollope has taken the basic plot, but left out the wit and social commentary that help to make Austen' work a classic, while, to quote The Guradian's John Crace "Joanna Trollope has achieved the near impossible by making every Jane Austen character appear shallow and unlikable".

Trollope has given more airtime to the characters of "Belle" (Austen's Mrs Dashwood) and Margaret. Perhaps an admirable undertaking, given how little Austen required of them. But perhaps there was reason for that. Austen called upon them only when necessary for the plot; Trollope reels them out unnecessarily several times, but I can see no benefit, they add nothing. Trollope's Margaret's only purpose seems to be to remind us that this is a 'modern' version, by constant references to social media and other modern phenomena.

Meanwhile, Edward, never a character I could really take to, is here made a complete wishy-washy wimp, with no purpose or aim until his potential in charity work is picked up by Brandon. Austen's Edward made it difficult for me to understand what Elinor saw in him. Trollope's left me totally unable to understand.

The worst crime, however, is left to Trollope's interpretation of Marianne. Austen's Marianne is a girl who can appear rude, not for the sake of being rude, but to break through the social mores and the hypocrisy of the time in which she lives. She suffers a deep depression, and knows that it is only her own sensibiliy that lead the illness that almost took her life; as she says "had I died, it would have been sef-destruction". In Trollope's novel, Marianne becomes M, a horrible, whiny creature, rude for rudeness sake, with no redeeming features. How anyone could fall in love with M is beyond me. Worse, by making asthma to blame for her near-death, Trollope totally removes the function of depression and self-harm in Marianne's condition. Ultimatlely, M is nothing but a pretty face, an airhead, whereas "the least interesting thing about Marianne is her beauty; what matters are her sense (intelligence), her sensitivity (sensibility) and her brooding intensity"

If the aim of this book was to demonstrate that Austen is relevant in the modern world, it has failed miserably. Reading this would make people think the exact opposite. But Austen's themes are relevant. Unfortunately, Trollope chose the wrong elements to update, and completely overlooked the key messages. ( )
  TheEllieMo | Jan 18, 2020 |
I am reading all of Joanna Trollope's books that I can find! Her characters in each and every book are so completely appealing --- ageless in many ways although this particular book was a rewriting of Jane Austen's work, Pride and Prejudice---which I was never able to get through! Trollope provides complete escape into families and what happens to them---delightful, every time but it's because of her attention to detail so the you truly know the characters she provides. ( )
  nyiper | Oct 1, 2019 |
Actual rating: 2.75

Here we go again with quarter stars, for shame Maddie!

It is a tall order for anyone to attempt a modernization of a book in publication since the 1800s and beloved by many, many people. This is my favorite Jane Austen book and I'm not even a huge fan of her writing. 'Sense & Sensibility' is my go to film on the days I'm sick or having an out of sorts day. In fact prior to starting this book I watched the 2008 BBC adaptation and found I needed more of the characters than the mini series could offer me this time. Hence finally getting around to starting Joanna Trollope's re-imagining of these much loved characters.

As I was watching the film this time I kept wondering why Austen couldn't write her heroines with more backbone, okay what I actually mean is... why can't they be mean back to these terrible people! Of course we get a little of that here and there in Trollope's version and I find I didn't like it as much I as thought I wanted to. Negative attributes of ALL characters are amplified. If you ever thought you couldn't possibly dislike Mrs. Dashwood, here you will find she could almost give Mrs. Bennet a run for her money. Maybe it has been too long since I've the book, but I don't remember her being so selfish and oblivious to Elinor's plight. Marianne is worse, which is bad all around when I consider how much I have, in the past, felt I am like her. Gouge my eyes out the Middletons and Jennings were so meddlesome and down right obnoxious I wanted throw their lot in with Fanny and her mum.

If I had been reading this paper format it seems likely I wouldn't have been able to finish it. The narrator, Rachel Stirling, does a fabulous job drawing you no matter your frustrations with the story. I managed to get over some of my 'minor' issues with the book and enjoy the story. It is disappointing that it didn't deviate more from the original source material. I suppose I was hoping more for a sequel-ish vibe than I got. Next time throw in a dash or two of plot-twist and you are gold. I did really enjoy the interactions between Elinor and Colonel Brandon. Fan-fiction anyone?

Maybe this is for you if you haven't days before finished watching the original story (or reading the book) before diving into something identical. I still find it worth the time and in the future I will space out my revisits of the story.

P.S. Edward Ferrars is incredibly stupid in this story. Am I forgetting something? Is he that dumb in Austen's story?

P.P.S. Next in this series is 'Northanger Abbey'. Blahhhhh I have never read the book because I hate the film versions, but I suppose it is time to buckle down and read it as well. ( )
  books_ofa_feather | Sep 14, 2018 |
A rewrite of the Jane Austen's original, it does not offer much in terms of story or reading experience.

Follow the link for a detailed review.

http://onerightword.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/sense-and-sensibility-joanna-trollope... ( )
  ashkrishwrites | Aug 29, 2018 |
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A modern retelling of the Jane Austen classic follows the Dashwood sisters--Elinor, Marianne and Margaret--as they, after the death of their father, must come to terms with the cruelties of life without the status of their country house, the protection of the family name or the comfort of an inheritance.

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