Friday, December 27, 2013

Book Club Friday: Sense and Sensibilty by Joanna Trollope #FridayReads

Happy after-Christmas, everyone! I hope Santa Claus brought everyone lots of new books to read. I didn't get any books per se, but I did get a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card. I think I'll probably use it to preorder This Star Won't Go Out, but I'm not 100% sure yet.

If you're thrilled to death with a book you got as a holiday gift, be sure to tell me in the comments.

I recently finished:

Peter: A Darkened FairytalePeter: A Darkened Fairytale by William  O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A magical and enchanting tale of a 10-year-old whisked away to a magical world full of unforgettable new friends and grave dangers. "A darkened fairy tale" certainly describes this adventure. Some parts of it could be disturbing for children younger than the target audience of 11- to 13-year-olds, but for mature youngsters, this is ideal for independent reading or for a family read-along. Fans of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia or of Lauren Oliver's The Spindlers will enjoy this otherworldly fantasy.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

I'm currently (still) reading Forbidden Highlander.

When I finish that (probably later today), I'm most likely to start Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope, which I ordered from Amazon Vine's "Last Harvest." Vine is having problems this month, and I wasn't able to have my usual pick of free swag. That's okay, though. At least I picked up a contemporary adaptation of a Jane Austen classic. I like to read the Vine books close to when they arrive, because I have a limited amount of time to review those.

I haven't read any of Joanna Trollope's other books, but I think it's cool she's related to Anthony Trollope. According to the New York Public Library Literature Companion, Anthony Trollope (1815-1882):

"...was among the the most popular writers of his day, appreciated for his depictions of clerical, political, and everyday life in Victorian England and his portrayals of memorable characters in richly imagined settings. The son of a failed gentleman farmer and the writer Frances Trollope, he grew up in relative poverty....His output included 47 novels as well as travel books, biographies, and prose collections. He is best known for two novel sequences, a form he introduced to English literature: the Barsetshire novels...and, after running unsuccessfully for Parliament, the politically steeped Pallister novels...His two-volume Autobiography appeared posthumously, in 1883."

Frances Milton Trollope, apparently, is not important enough to merit her own entry, but Wikipedia says she was a prolific novelist who lived 1779-1863. She wrote the anti-slavery novel Jonathan Jefferson Whitlaw, which is said to have been an influence on Harriet Beecher Stowe when Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom's Cabin. Anthony's older brother Thomas was also a writer - mostly of histories - and Thomas Trollope was married to Frances Eleanor (Ternan) Trollope, who was also a novelist and published 12 books between 1866 and 1892. The Wikipedia entry suggests it was Frances Milton, not her son Anthony, who introduced the novel sequence into English-language literature.  (Patriarchy, stop trying to simultaneously erase and take credit for women's artistic accomplishments.)

If you recognize the family name Ternan, you may be a Dickens addict - Frances Eleanor's sister Ellen Ternan was a notoriously scandalous mistress of Charles Dickens. I'm not a Charles Dickens fan myself - I did not enjoy reading Great Expectations in tenth grade, although I seem to enjoy the Alec Guinness movie version - you might like to read another book I had the option of choosing from Vine's Last Harvest, which is Havisham: A Novel by Ronald Frame. I didn't choose it, but I could have.

The book I have waiting for me to pick up at the library is After Dead by Charlaine Harris.

A lot of people hate this collection of snippets about the characters in the Sookie Stackhouse universe, as evidenced by its 2 1/2-star rating on Goodreads. It's 50% off at Barnes and Noble for their after-Christmas sale, but based on the lousiness of the ratings, I have no intention of paying money for it. I'll give it a free read, though, simply because of my loyalty to this series.


Shoshanah said...

I've been curious about both Havisham and this Sense & Sensibility. Although it's silly in a way, because I wan't a huge fan of Great Expectations and I've never read Sense & Sensibility. But there's a reason they're great stories for a reason, and these modern versions make it a bit more accessible for me. So I'm definitely curious to see what you think!

Erin O'Riordan said...

I haven't read the original 'Sense and Sensibility' either - but I did read 'Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.'