Review – Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen

1811 – Classics

Rating: 3.5/5

The Story: Elinor and Marianne Dashwood experience the highs and lows that accompany falling in love with men that may or may not love them back. They also attend a lot of dinner parties, play cards in the evenings, and take so many walks through the countryside.

The Opening Line: The family of Dashwood had been long settled in Sussex.

Favorite Quotes:

“A woman of seven-and-twenty,” said Marianne, after pausing a moment, “can never hope to feel or inspire affection again.”

“I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natural awkwardness. I have frequently thought that I must have been intended by nature to be fond of low company, I am so little at my ease among stranger of gentility!” -Edward Ferrars

What I Loved (Potential Spoiler Alert! Tread with Caution!): As with pretty much every Jane Austen novel ever, everything ends happily. The main characters always form good marriages with real affection. Conflicts are resolved and forgiveness granted. And (gasp!) the girls never have to worry about sinking into real poverty because there is always enough money to live on comfortably. I know going in to an Austen novel that I probably won’t have to resort to throwing the book across the room in anger over the ending.

What I Didn’t Love: Oh, Marianne! I just don’t understand you. You seem so wrapped up in yourself, so selfish that you don’t even know your own sister’s personality. Your emotional states give me whiplash. One second you are jumping for joy, the next you are sobbing in desolation. And yet you still make me feel sorry for you. How does that work?

Final Thoughts: This was my first time reading Sense & Sensibility and also the first book I’ve read for this year’s Austen in August. A lot of other participants love this novel, so I was fairly confident that I would enjoy it. And overall, I did. Even though certain things rubbed me the wrong way – Willoughby being a jerk, Colonel Brandon’s constant affection for Marianne, John and Fanny’s complete disregard for family – I was happy to see everyone come out on top. And I’m pretty excited that I’ve now read half of Austen’s core novels. Next up for Austen in August, Longbourn by Jo Baker.

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9 Comments

Filed under Reading Challenges

9 responses to “Review – Sense and Sensibility

  1. “Oh, Marianne!” Haha! I couldn’t agree more. John and Fanny are difficult to stomach at times, but I’m with you on loving the book despite the fact. This is the only Austen I haven’t reviewed on my blog yet. Your review has inspired me to get that done this month. Cheers!

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    • I realize things were way different back then, but even so, you would think taking care of family and being honorable in that way would take precedent over selfishness. It’s not like John and Fanny were wanting for anything! So glad I started with this one!

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  2. Brona

    Wow you read that quickly!
    I also find Marianne difficult to understand, but this reread has reminded me that she’s only 17 – she’s just being a typical emotional, self-absorbed teenager!

    JA shows that dysfunctional families, selfish people, mean people, cruel people have always existed and always will. She also shows that they are complex people with all sorts of shades of grey going on behind their unpleasant behaviours.

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    • Brona

      PS The Emma Thompson movie is a pretty faithful interpretation of the book and helped me to feel a little more symapthetic towards Marianne.

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      • Really? I’m thinking about watching it this weekend. And you know, the more I think about it, the more I really do feel sorry for Marianne. Having to learn to love someone isn’t the same as marrying the person that you truly love. Although I think she ended up in the right place, when all is said and done.

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    • That’s so true! I always forget that they are teens and not super mature adults. I’m sure it was much harder to be a teen back then, before we really had the psychology/biology knowledge to understand teens as a group.

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  3. I also like that everything ends happily. It’s one of my favorite things about Austen šŸ™‚

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    • I thought this might be the time when it didn’t. As I was finishing up, I didn’t know how she was going to wrap everything up, and I was genuinely scared for some of the characters. But all was well, of course!

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