Joanna Trollope's modern re-telling of Sense and Sensibility is part of the Austen Project which will see all of the Jane Austen's six novels re-written in contemporary style by six well-known authors. Sense and Sensibility is one of my favourite novels of all-time and I was interested to see what changes could be made.
I felt that Trollope had a good understanding of the characters and the story, with the dialogue updated to today's style - expect plenty of 'What evs' and 'hilairs'. The three sisters are also contemporised to good effect - Elinor has hopes to be an architect and is the breadwinner of the family, taking on the strain seen in different ways in the original novel. Marianne suffers from asthma, which makes her breakdowns through the novel more plausible and Margaret is an I-pod loving, spoilt younger sister, mortified by being dropped off at her new school in Elinor's old car.
The society that Elinor and Marianne end up in during their time in London now seems to be full of Chelsea it-girls, and Marianne's reaction to seeing Willoughby becomes public knowledge for different reasons. I enjoyed reading this updates and thinking about what would be coming next.
There are a few parts of the story which do seem a bit odd in today's world - for example the Dashwood's being thrown out of the family home in favour of a male heir - but Trollope does her best to explain and without these parts of the story, it would not be Sense and Sensibility. It also felt a bit odd to read Edward Ferrars being referred to as Ed and John Willoughby as Wills throughout the novel, but then I guess that is the romantic Janite in me! Colonel Brandon is described as dreamy as always!
Fans of Jane Austen will find this amusing as they compare to the original novel. Good fun and I'm looking forward to the other five novels being told in this way!
Find out more about The Austen Project at www.theaustenproject.com
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