A beloved and internationally bestselling author’s contemporary retelling of Jane Austen’s classic novel of love, money and two very different sisters.
When their father unexpectedly dies, the three Dashwood girls—Elinor, Marianne and Margaret—must face the harsh reality of a life where they no longer have the home or the financial security that they have always taken for granted. As they come to terms with life without the comforts of either their country house or an inheritance, Elinor, a sensible architecture student, and Marianne, a passionate, musical free spirit, are also confronted by a world where their choices are abruptly limited by their new and alarming circumstances.
With her trademark insight and wit, Joanna Trollope has brought Austen’s characters and their story into the 21st century. In the timeless spirit of their creator, she casts a clever, gently satirical eye on Elinor and Marianne as they are forced to navigate the modern world and the search for love. The results are both heartbreaking and hilarious, but always, in the hands of consummate storyteller Trollope, hugely entertaining and achingly true to life. Reimagining Sense and Sensibility in a fresh and contemporary light, Trollope recasts this beloved coming-of-age story as a perfect tale for our times.
In this funny, well-paced Mormon-themed take on Austen's often retold classic, by romance writer Jamison (Persuasion: A Latter-day Tale), Emma is a 23-year-old receptionist in modern-day Vienna, Va., who tries to parlay her penchant for meddling and doling advice into a career as a life coach. After welcoming pretty but insecure nanny Harri into the group of 20-somethings she knows from the local Mormon community, Emma misinterprets signals from Phil Elton and attempts to pair the two off with disastrous results. Meanwhile, former classmate Jenna Farley, now a country music star, comes home for Christmas, making Emma reflect on her own lackluster accomplishments. She's briefly distracted by the arrival of Hank Weston, who seems perfect and appears to like her. Jamison's writing is engaging and full of vivid, amusing lines; a croissant is "the cotton candy version of bread," for instance. Jamison's religious perspective never comes off as awkward or didactic. The author only slips toward the end, when a saccharine resolution pales compared to the riveting angst that came before it. Brit author Trollope brings Austen's classic into the new millennium, with mixed results. After Henry Dashwood dies, the Dashwood sisters and their mother are given a house by kindly rich relatives John and Mary Middleton, while the estate that was the Dashwood home passes to the sisters' henpecked half-brother John and his status-conscious wife Fanny. Elinor, the responsible eldest Dashwood sister, is smitten with Fanny's brother Edward Ferrars, though she hasn't heard from him since the move, and he, unbeknownst to her, has been dating the daffy Lucy Steele. Delicate, dramatic, and gorgeous, middle sister Marianne falls for eye-candy John "Wills" Willoughby, though he treads on her heart by publicly rejecting her. All this is conveyed in formal prose with equally stiff dialogue, which makes Trollope's offhand mentions of laptops and Range Rovers somewhat jarring. And yet, Trollope's faithfulness to the tropes of this story keep her from letting the plot jibe with the modern world, though she does wink at that: "You're like those nineteenth-century novels where marriage is the only career option for a middle-class girl." The book's resolution for Marianne seems especially unlikely in this era, and could have benefitted from a more malleable adaptation.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Skip it - read the original
I liked the idea of the book more than the actual book. If you're going to rewrite a revered classic, it had better either be fairly close to the original or an innovative spin. This book is neither. It is simply the original characters and storyline rewritten into a modern day context but it doesn't make any sense and the characters fall short of their original descriptions. I finished this book not really like any of the characters.