Saturday 14 September 2013

Review ~ Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope

Harper Collins
Publication 24 October 2013

When I heard that there was to be a reworking of Jane Austen, I must admit that I was sceptical, and largely fell into the camp of those purists who believed that there was no need for the masterpieces of Jane Austen to be reworked. So it was with some trepidation that I started to read Joanna Trollope’s version of a more contemporary Sense and Sensibility. Initially, I felt that the prose was all wrong; the Dashwoods came across as shallow, weak and rather too insipid, and I seem to be forever comparing them to the more durable description offered by Jane Austen, and that’s when I realised that I had to lay aside my rather battered classic copy of Sense and Sensibility, and started to concentrate on this version as being entirely ‘new’, rather than a pale imitation of the original. After that I started to enjoy the book on its own merits.
The story does indeed lend itself to a light and easy to read contemporary version, and whilst there is much to compare the ruinous nature of today’s rather impecunious society, there is also the same sense of traditional values. It became entirely convincing to see Willoughby’s skill with a top of the range Aston Martin, replace Austen’s description of Willoughby, as there not a being ‘a bolder rider in England’.
All this is beautifully expressed within the novel as with multi layered efficiency, and with no loss of character from the original, Joanna Trollope has infused new life into a story, which some may have said was outmoded and outdated.
It goes a long way to prove that, in the hands of a talented and clever author, even the reworking of a major classic can be deemed to be entirely successful.

It would be utterly wrong of me to assume that I can compare the writing of one of England’s finest novelists with one of her modern day counterparts, so for the Jane Austen purists amongst you who feel it is bordering on the sacrilegious to rework such a classic masterpiece as Sense and Sensibility, I would suggest that you approach this as you would any new venture, with an open mind.

You may even be as pleasantly surprised as I was !


 My thanks to and Harper Collins for my advance reading copy of this book.

A small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - you can read their thoughts on the book here

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope will be available through and other book stores from the end of October 2013.

Read more about The Austen project here 

facebook /austenproject


  1. Jo

    Thanks for the interesting review. I am a Jane Austen purist but have read a few re-works of Pride and Prejudice and found them interesting. I've pre-ordered S&S on your recommendation and look forward to receiving it.


    1. Hi Jerry - thanks for visiting - I look forward to reading your thoughts on this book in dues course :)


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