Title: Sense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classic Fiction
Synopsis: Elinor is as prudent as her sister Marianne is impetuous. Each must learn from the other after they are they are forced by their father’s death to leave their home and enter into the contests of polite society. The charms of unsuitable men and the schemes of rival ladies mean that their paths to success are thwart with disappointment but together they attempt to find a way to happiness.
My Rating: .75ish…
I will admit that this is not my favorite of the Austen stories but still sat down to thoroughly read it. The story follows two sisters who are left without money due to the inheritance laws and their father’s estate goes to their brother who is married to a cold-conniving woman. As the 2 sisters Elinor and Marianne move to a country cottage with their mother and little sister their own romance drama unfolds.
This was Austen’s first published novel and if you’ve read her later works you can see where Austen improved most particularly in terms of developing the love story. Elinor is truly our main character and she’s strong, resilient and self-sacrificing. She has good senses and is level-headed, this carries the novel however her own love story with Mr. Edward Ferrars is sub par. You do not see them conversing or slowly forming affection towards one another yet this attachment is one of the central drivers of the novel. The same can be said of Marianne and Col Brandon who ultimately becomes her husband. One reads Austen thinking you’re going to read a sweeping regency romance but that is not what Austen is about – Austen writes and quite craftily about social customs and keen study of character. Her side characters in this novel were delightful and far more interesting than her main characters.
I have to admit that a modern TV show adaptation of this would be phenomenal, meaning prolonging it and adding to it, especially what happens to the characters afterwards. Willoughby, the cad of the book is a complex and rich character, Mrs. Jennings would be excellent to explore along with Lucy Steele who is the Blair Waldorf of the story. Just making them more than what we see and maybe even finding redemption for them would be excellent.
I think I can appreciate this novel for what it began developing in Austen’s ability but it is certainly not my favorite and I finished the novel with no inclination of ever picking it up again.