The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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!

Lilacs 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.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #Middlemarchin2019 #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Allison Pearson Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy Whipple E.H. Young E.M. Delafield E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Ellizabeth Taylor Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Essays Eudora Welty Fanny Burney Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Gertrude Stein Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Martha Grimes Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Susan Hill Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson