December 30, 2013

Sense and Sensibility, retold

This modern re-telling of Jane Austen's novel is the first in a series, with each of the six stories being recreated by a contemporary writer. My favorite thing about reading a book like this {such as this one or this one} is seeing what the new author will do with the old story, and that was the best part of reading this one, too. Elinor is an architecture student, forced to give up her degree when her family has to leave Norland; Marianne has an asthma attack, instead of a sprained ankle; Willoughly gives her a car {he drives a flashier one now} instead of a horse; Barton Cottage is a modern house on 'Jonno' Middleton's estate, designed as a holiday let; and Bill Brandon has turned Delaford into a rehab center for addicts, in memory of his lost love.

A lot of fun to read, but best I think if you know the original story well.  The characters and what happens to them just don't sparkle on their own.  I've been reading Joanna Trollope for a long time {before chick lit was even invented} and I've always enjoyed her books, so this was a little disappointing. But I'm still looking forward to Emma.


lyn said...

I was disappointed too (didn't finish it, in fact) even though I've read all JT's books & love them. I think I just couldn't believe that the Dashwood women would be so at a loss to look after themselves. I also found Marianne completely irritating. I';m not a fan of Austen sequels, prequels etc so I only picked this up because it was by Trollope. I don't think I'll bother with the rest!

Claire (The Captive Reader) said...

I haven't found anyone who was really enthusiastic about this but I'm still eager to try it for myself. I suspect that the real result will be me left longing to reread The Cookbook Collector, which, though not brilliant, was at least a good modern interpretation of S&S. And nothing - nothing! - can dim my joy about the upcoming Emma rewrite!

Lilac In May said...

As a huge Austen fan I was tempted when I saw this in a bookstore, but glad to read your post before I commited. Thanks for the review, and happy new year.