Monday, April 21, 2014

That F-word Fellow

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope: With the death of their father,  Elinor, Marianne and Margaret Dashwood are left to fend for themselves in an unforgiving world.  Without the comforts of their old home or the protection of their father, the three Dashwood sisters are thrust into a new reality full of changeable people and painful truths.  

So I just finished this novel and couldn't wait to get on here to write up this review.  I will first start out by saying I have never read a novel by Joanna Trollope so I had no idea what to expect from her writing going into this.    I feel sort of guilty about that now but there's nothing to be done about it. Let's begin shall we?  Sense and Sensibility was a great read because I feel like it held the spirit of the original tale and carried it forth very well into the 21st century.  It was interesting to see the mentions of Facebook, Youtube and Twitter but also sad to see how they were used against characters in the novel.  Awful ways in which we have become familiar with.  While the novel takes place in a more modern setting, it also had these wonderful references to the society and culture that the original story existed in.  They were actually pretty funny.

I loved a lot of the characters but especially Elinor, whose feelings and thought process I could definitely relate to the most.  I also enjoyed the little details that Trollope added in like Elinor being an architect in training, which really added to her character. There were also these stunning moments of insight into characters like John Willoughby that had me whispering 'yes, exactly' to myself late at night.  Trollope also took the time to develop a few individuals that I always wanted to know more about like Colonel Brandon, Belle Dashwood and Margaret Dashwood. 

Colonel Brandon stands out here for me because we truly get to know him - what he does in his spare time, how perceptive he is and how perfect he actually is for Marianne.  In the original, I just felt like we were told he was lovely but we couldn't really say why beyond his obvious kindness.  A lot of authors take the original Austen stories but do not spend enough time working on the parts where Austen lacked (I said it.  Please, contain your gasps of indignation.). Originality is something I appreciate in retellings because I don't want a straight translation, I want something familiar but new and refreshing.

 In the video below, Joanna Trollope describes her book.  I included it just in case I didn't do a very good job of it.

In this one, Trollope reads a small passage from the book and discusses Jane Austen. 

If anyone finds that one line from Jane Austen in the new Sense and Sensibility, comment on this post because I want to know what it is.

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