Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sense and Sensibility

by Joanna Trollope

Oh, where to begin? I knew this novel would be a disaster when I spotted it on the library’s shelf. The cover is cute enough; I’ll give it that. But I should have recognized this novel’s fatal flaw immediately: the author has updated a classic, but kept the title of the original work. Yikes!

As a part of The Austen Project (, Joanna Trollope has written an “updated” version of Jane Austen’s classic novel. But here’s the problem: it is not really updated. Sure, it takes place in the present, but a reader can only believe that when an I-device is mentioned. Otherwise, it feels like the original work. If I wanted to read Austen’s novel again, I would have. With Trollope’s novel, I was hoping to read a contemporary work inspired by Austen’s novel. No such luck.

Frankly, she should have looked to a successful update of S & S, like Cathleen Schine’s The Three Weissmanns of Westport. Heck, I’d even rather re-read Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

Please, if you like Austen’s work or Trollope’s work, don’t read this novel.


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