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Book of the Week #57 "Sense and Sensibility"



by Jane Austen

In this classic novel by the beloved Jane Austen, two sisters, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are quite different. Elinor, reserved and levelheaded, represents sense. Marianne, given to dramatics and unafraid to show her emotions, represents sensibility. When their father passes, their half-brother, from their father's first marriage, is left the cottage at Norland. As they, along with their mother, move to Barton cottage, they are introduced to a new circle of friends. Both sisters come to love separate men, Elinor falls for Edward Ferrars, and Marianne for Willoughby. Elinor later finds that Edward has been secretly engaged to a woman named Lucy for four years. Marianne is devastated when Willoughby, after showing interest in her, doesn't return her letters and is pronounced to be engaged to another woman. Both are devastated by their findings, yet handle their feelings in different ways. Elinor, being sensible and having promised Edward's fiancée Lucy that she wouldn't speak of their relationship, keeps her feelings to herself. Yet Marianne, having more sensibility, falls apart as her broken heart threatens to take her life.

I have to admit, sometimes, Marianne rather annoyed me. I know that a broken heart is painful, but wow, she took it to a whole new level. That said, I do realize that things were very different during the time this book takes place. So much depended upon a person's status in society, and when a woman couldn't get married, it changed things. It just makes me thankful that things in this respect are different in this day and age.

Aside from that, I think this one is my favorite Jane Austen novels, so far. Am I crazy to say I like it better than Pride and Prejudice? Perhaps, though it has been a while since I've read P&P. I don't know why, but there's just something about Sense and Sensibility that I like, despite the little things that annoyed me. I like seeing the sister relationship in this book and how they relate one another, yet are so different, and I think that's what made me enjoy it as much as I did. I also liked Edward Ferrars as a hero. I like that he was more reserved than Jane Austen's heroes tend to be. I did not like Willoughby, but every book needs a villain. And of course, that trademark Austen wit, only to be found in her novels.

All in all, even though there were a few little things that I didn't care for, the good outweighed the bad and I enjoyed Sense and Sensibility. As with any Jane Austen novel, it was an interesting look into the past that anyone could learn from.


I give this book a 5 out of 5.

4 comments

  1. Have you seen the movie yet? I love the Emma Thompson movie with Alan Rickman in it. But still P&P is my favorite Austen book :) But they all have their appealing aspects that make me smile :) Marianne was annoying. I am glad I never had my heart broken, but I would hope that I wouldn't have been so devastated as she was. What Austen book is next for you to read?

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  2. Have you seen the movie yet? I love the Emma Thompson movie with Alan Rickman in it. But still P&P is my favorite Austen book :) But they all have their appealing aspects that make me smile :) Marianne was annoying. I am glad I never had my heart broken, but I would hope that I wouldn't have been so devastated as she was. What Austen book is next for you to read?

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    1. I've only seen one of the BBC miniseries of Sense and Sensibility. This one looks like it's from the '80s, and I found it at Dollar Tree one day. How could pass that up? haha. I'd love to see the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman version someday. It looks good. Amber Stokes tweeted about wanting to do a read-along of Emma in the fall, and so that will be my next Austen novel. I'm really looking forward to it! You should join us! :)

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  3. Oh I'm all for reading Emma with y'all! Something to look forward to! Yay! And I wouldn't have passed up that deal on Sense and Sensibility either! What a great find! I love all of the Austen adaptations no matter what year. Of course some acting is better than others, but still, it is fun to see the different interpretations.

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