Sense & Sensibility: A Novel

Sense & Sensibility: A Novel

by Joanna Trollope


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062200471
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/04/2014
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 618,079
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Joanna Trollope is the number-one bestselling author of eighteen highly acclaimed contemporary novels, including The Other Family, Daughters-in-Law, and The Soldier's Wife. She was appointed OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List and was the chair of judges for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She lives in London and Gloucestershire.

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Sense & Sensibility 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
clahain1 More than 1 year ago
Unlike some Jane Austen lovers, I have never minded re-tellings, imagined sequels, or even parodies of her masterpieces. I even managed to get through the one that had Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy battling zombies. My major criticism of that author's efforts had nothing to do with the presence of the walking dead, but rather his leaden and unimaginative characterization of certain of Miss Austen's most extraordinarily well-drawn creations. However, there was a strange affinity between Pride & Prejudice, one of Austen's most comedic works, and the irreverence of the modern brain-munching mash-up. Austen's Sense & Sensibility is a darker book. Its themes of avarice, beautified villainy, and the very  real dangers to women of the author's era left impoverished by birth or circumstance show us a world  far more dangerous than Meryton, Highbury or even the two-faced playground of Bath. In some ways, this makes the book more amenable to meaningful modernization. Anyone who has lived through even a portion of the 20th and 21st centuries understands how deeply a society can fail its people. Instead of interpreting the original against the mixed-bag of opportunity and inequity that is contemporary England--or any modern country--Joanna Trollope skims off the very top layer and  hands it an mp3-player and keys to an SUV. While Elinor Dashwood, Edward Ferres and Bill Brandon  retain some of the complexity that have made them so fascinating for two centuries, the others  characters disappoint. Marianne, Margaret and Isabelle Dashwood, especially, are barely likable. They are petty and nasty and almost as unkind to the family offering them shelter (the Middletons, Mrs. Jennings) as the people who have supposedly treated them so poorly. Is an inheritance of 200,000 pounds sterling (over $300,000 US)to women who are literate and basically able-bodied  really impoverishment? Does it truly rip them from their social moorings the way it did to Austen's originals? These Dashwoods are eccentrics to begin with, bohemians who luck into life in a stately home. Austen's originals were fairly conventional--their class WAS the world as they knew it and lived  in it. Other issues for me: Trollope making Marianne's asthma such an extreme case, which relieves both author and character of the responsibility of demonstrating genuine growth. John Willoughby is in and out of the picture so fast and so dramatically, that the reader can't even pretend along with Marianne  that the relationship was based on anything more than her own fantasies. When Willoughby's biggest  sin is revealed, it is so over-the-top, it cannot be reconciled with the wispy outline of the man we've been given. Here, at least, Trollope would have been better off sticking close to her model, an underage girl seduced, a baby abandoned, as big a tragedy now as in Jane Austen's time. The second half of the book is much richer than the first half, but that's Elinor truly shining, along with Marianne finally demonstrating some humanity, and the gruesome Steele sisters creating havoc. All good stuff that gave me lots of satisfaction as a reader. On the technical side, the second half didn't escape Trollope's tendency to separate speaker from dialogue.  Many times I had to re-read passages to figure out who said what.  Trollope's Sense & Sensibility isn't a bad book. It does misunderstand and misrepresent the original.  
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings A "modern" re-telling of the classic that sort of fell flat for me.  First, let me say that I must admit that I have not read the original, but am a fan of Austen and mostly enjoy her work, so I went into this with high hopes that I would enjoy a modernization.   For me it fell flat when parts of it felt very modern with Twitter, Facebook and cars, but then at the same moment there were parts that were stuck in the past - i.e. women fretting about living without a man and income and feeling unable to survive without a man and his income.  The cast of characters was huge and I was having a hard time connecting with any of them and becoming engaged with the central few.  
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trollope moved this story quite convincingly into the 20th C. I kept forgetting it was first Jane Austin's story. The money issues were just as pressing on the characters as Austin made them, and Trollope found believable work for the Dashwoods. But I never doubted that Trollope would handle it beautifully.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hockeygranny More than 1 year ago
A big disappointment. This book fell far short of my expectations. The review by clahain1 is spot on. I can only say "Ditto" to that review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the good fortune to be able to read an advance copy of this book. I was very excited to see a reboot of this Jane Austen story since all other modern retellings seem to focus on Pride and Prejudice. That said, it was a very litteral retelling. Yes, the setting, language, and to some extent the charactors are modern but things happened point by point almost exactly as the original. And in some ways this didn't make the story or characters as beleiveable since this seems slightly improbable in modern times. Because of this I had a hard time getting into the book and I didn't get hooked until about 1/2 way through. However, by the end of the book I still felt the same sort of attachment to the characters and story that I did after reading the original Austen.