I really wanted to love this book as much as the original but unfortunately it left me feeling a bit flat. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.
I am a huge Jane Austen fan and have read hundreds of adaptations. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it feels like hundreds. I was so excited to pick up Trollope’s book, as my expectations were high for the first in the Austen Project – a modern rewritings of Austen’s six novels.
Let’s face it; it’s not like I didn’t know what the plot was going to be. I just thought that the characters could have been developed a little more. I felt like I was introduced to them, but never really allowed to get into their heads, perhaps with the exception of the main character Elinor who at least had a bit of spunk. Brandon was likeable but Edward was a huge disappointment who I felt just skulked in and out with “nothing to recommend him”.
The modernisation also didn’t quite work. Although there were mentions of Facebook and iPods, the fact that no one found out about Edward’s engagement for six months or so just didn’t cut it. My young nephew just got engaged and it was instant news through Facebook, Instagram etc. I also don’t know a lot of teenage girls who live in tree houses. My two daughters grew up in trees but as teenage girls, they now have other places to hang out.
Given all this, and the fact that I am an Austen tragic, I will probably still acquire Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, as well as the other books planned for the Austen project when they are released.
My rating: ★★★