Sense & Sensibility - Joanna Trollope Modernised versions of Jane Austen's novels are always cropping up in current books, TV shows, films and even youtube series, so I did not approach the first offering from The Austen Project with total righteous indignation. Nevertheless, an official modern reworking of an Austen novel by a contemporary author is a concept that makes me a little defensive - do Austen's works really need rewriting? Aren't they marvellous and still relevant enough on their own? - and so I was more than a little apprehensive when given my proof copy. I'm glad to say, however, that I need not have been worried; Sense and Sensibility is very, very safe in Joanna Trollope's capable hands.

Whatever the genre and whoever the author, reimagining a beloved classic is always a tricky balancing act, and it's one Trollope pulls off and, what's more, manages to make look easy. She is respectful to the original material, but not slavish to it; this isn't basically the Austen book with cars and slang shoehorned in. A lot of careful thought has been put in, that much is clear: the characters are recognisable as Austen's creations, but also excellently adapted to be plausibly at home in the twenty-first century. Elinor is an architecture student trying to pay the bills and keep the household from collapsing in on itself; Marianne's headstrong wildness is here replaced with manic depression, and Margaret is a fabulously stroppy teenager. The men, too, are gorgeously recreated: the sweet but rudderless Ed, the handsome but shallow Wills and, of course, the quietly damaged but earnest Brandon (no prizes for guessing who my favourite is).

Whether you're familiar with the original or not, this version of Sense and Sensibility is utterly delightful: funny, romantic, gloriously written and paying just enough homage while still standing on its own two feet. I think I realised it had won my heart - and, just as importantly, my head - when I found myself talking to the characters aloud, in public, despite of course already knowing how it was all going to end! One of the things I love about Austen's novels is how, no matter how many times you read them, it is still possible to be completely and utterly swept up in them, and the same is true of this version: I can think of no higher praise. Delicious, sparkling and feelgood, I will definitely be shoving this at everyone I know.