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SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
Genre: Mainstream, General Mainstream Fiction
The risks of reinterpreting Jane Austen’s work are myriad, but Trollope’s newest Austen Project novel meets with considerable success thanks to her obvious love for her characters and her soul-deep appreciation for Austen’s work. Though some original elements don’t translate as cleanly to the modern day, and some aspects of the plot feel forced, the fact that this novel is such a heartfelt and incisive success is a tribute not only to Austen’s timeless talent, but also to Trollope’s beautifully simple prose and perceptive treatment of her material.
When John Dashwood inherited Norland Park upon his father’s death, he promised to help the grief-stricken Dashwood women who remained there. But his wife, Fanny, has no intention of sharing her idyllic inheritance, and the women find themselves at the mercy of a distant relation in faraway Devon. Now the Dashwoods — practical and sensible Elinor, dreamy and dramatic Marianne and sharply observant Margaret — must learn to forge a life all their own. From first loves and shocking heartbreaks to the triumphs of finding lasting happiness, Jane Austen’s beloved story is interpreted to the modern day, bringing the Dashwoods in all their quirky, charming glory, into the 21st century. (HARPER, Nov., 384 pp., $25.99)
Reviewed By: Bridget Keown
Published: November 2013