Monday, October 19, 2015

Recently Read: Sense and Sensibility

Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classic
Publication Date: 18
Page Count: 363
Rating: 4/5

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Also by Jane Austen:
Pride and Prejudice

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are sisters and the best of companions. After the death of their father they find themselves, their mother, and their youngest sister forced to move out of the family home. The two sisters who couldn't more opposite fall in love and face heartbreak in very similar ways, yet handle it completely differently. 

I'm sure we are all well aware of my love and respect for Austen by now, so I will skip all of the praise of her wit and mastery of the subtle and go straight to my thoughts on the novel. 

I loved both Elinor and Marianne in this novel. Elinor is older, composed, quiet and keeps her emotions to herself. Marianne is young, a little wild, and very open about her thoughts and feelings. I loved how Austen put both sisters through very similar circumstances that they handled in completely opposite fashions. I also loved the sister dynamic these two had. They would really do anything for the other one, and always stuck by each other's side. Another thing I enjoyed about this novel was the lack of focus on the love interests. In this novel the love interests were a little unlikable in some cases and flat in other cases, which was fine with me because it left all of the focus on the two Dashwood sisters and their relationship with each other. 

This novel was funny, I found myself laughing out loud a few times, and relating to both sisters at different times in the novel. I'm dreading the day that I run out of Austen novels to read for the first time, but I also can't wait to reread them all. If you haven't picked up Austen yet, please do. 

This is the only Austen novel that I have given four stars instead of five, and that was simply because I thought the end of the novel was a bit rushed. Austen usually has a pretty quick, happy wrap-up but this one was just a little too quick for me. Regardless I still loved the novel, and I loved that this one had a focus outside of the romance. 

Of course, I have a few adaptions in mind that I want to watch after finishing this one, and I will be reporting back on those.      

Leave me your Austen recommendations (adaptions, biographies, fictional novels about her, retellings etc.) I want to consume them all!  


  1. As you know I'm not Austen's biggest fan, but Sense and Sensibility is probably my least favourite of her novels - I've always felt that Elinor and Marianne both deserved better. I've often wondered if she based the two of them off herself and her sister, Cassandra, but I suppose I shouldn't assume they're based on anyone just because they also happen to be two sisters. I only wonder because when I went to the Jane Austen Centre in Bath our tour guide mentioned Jane and Cassandra's own love lives, how Jane was engaged for about 12 hours then changed her mind and left, causing quite a bit of embarrassment (that did make me laugh) and how Cassandra was engaged to a previous student of their father's, who went to the Caribbean on a military expedition to earn some more money before they could marry. Unfortunately he died there in the late 1700s, of yellow fever, and according to our guide Cassandra was so heartbroken that she never married anyone else. Something about her story made me think of Marianne.

    I think you're fairly lucky with this one in terms of adaptations! I watched the 1995 film adaptation earlier this year and thought it was pretty good (though Edward Ferrars gets on my nerves) and a friend of mine who's a big Austen fan really enjoyed the 2008 BBC miniseries. :) I do agree that the relationship between the sisters in this book is the most important relationship, which I like; in fact with Elinor and Marianne and Elizabeth and Jane I think Austen might have written a lot of her familial relationships from experience, as she and Cassandra were incredibly close. Cassandra was her best friend as well as her sister, and according to the Austen Centre the two of them wrote to one another every day if they weren't together and Jane even died in Cassandra's arms.

    If you enjoyed this I recommend checking out Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal! :) I haven't read it yet, but it has a very Sense and Sensibility feel to it.

    1. Great Austen facts, thanks for sharing! I have heard great things about those two adaptations of S&S too! I'm hoping to get to both of them soon. I just need to hunt them down. The 1995 movie was on Netflix for ages, and then as soon as I finished the book, they took it off!
      Thanks for the recommendation, I'll add that one to my TBR.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. You're so right about the way Austen focuses in the novel on the sisters rather than the men. :) This is my favorite Austen book. I love Elinor. I'm a lot more like Marianne... :)

    1. I really love the contrast between the two sisters! Elinor is a great example of an Austen heroine: smart, independent, with a good head on her shoulders.
      Thanks for stopping by!