Joanna Trollope’s much-anticipated contemporary reworking of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility launches The Austen Project and is already one of the most talked about books of the year.
Two sisters could hardly be more different.
Elinor Dashwood, an architecture student, values discretion above all. Her impulsive sister Marianne displays her creativity everywhere as she dreams of going to art school.
But when the family finds itself forced out of Norland Park, their beloved home for twenty years, their values are severely put to the test.
Can Elinor remain stoic knowing that the man she likes has been ensnared by another girl? Will Marianne’s faith in love be shaken by meeting the hottest boy in the county? And when social media is the controlling force at play, can love ever triumph over conventions and disapproval?
Joanna Trollope casts Sense & Sensibility in a fresh new light, re-telling a coming-of-age story about young love and heartbreak, and how when it comes to money especially, some things never change…
‘…wittily, stylishly and sensitively written with lots of delicious upmarket detail. A must for Trollope and Austen fans alike’ Daily Mail
‘Trollope is an expert in her craft…it’s a faster, zestier, read than the original’ The Times
‘A bloody good read. I was so charmed, I missed my tube stop. Such is the power of Austen’ Stylist ****
‘A fun and light-hearted read’ Sunday Times
‘Trollope and Austen are a natural marriage’ Guardian
‘Austen’s characters translate remarkably smoothly into the present day… enjoyable modern satire’ Daily Telegraph
‘Plays out the siblings’ different romantic survival strategies to great effect’ Marie Claire
‘Is the new Sense & Sensibility worth reading? The answer is unequivocally yes’ Washington Post
‘Told with insight and ingenuity’ i Paper
‘It shouldn’t work, but it does brilliantly!’ Sun on Sunday, Fabulous Magazine
‘Jane Austen's story and Joanna Trollope's voice make the perfect marriage. What a delight!’ SOPHIE KINSELLA
‘This will more than satisfy Trollope fans as well as most Austen devotees; a sprightly mix of the old and new’ Library Journal
About the author
Joanna Trollope is the author of seventeen highly acclaimed contemporary bestselling novels, including, most recently, The Other Family, Daughters-in-Law and The Soldier’s Wife. She has also written a study of women in the British Empire, Britannia’s Daughters, and ten historical novels published under the pseudonym, Caroline Harvey.
Joanna was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List and was the Chair of Judges for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012.
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.