Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen

READ: JAN 15 - FEB 08, 2012

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love. 

I was really enjoying this to begin with but I got a bit bored halfway through and while it did pick up again, the ending was so sudden and everyone was happily married off in a way that didn't seem in keeping with the tone of the story. I was really hoping that Elinor would get together with someone else, who had been constant throughout the story and seemed like a good match, so I was surprised and a bit disappointed with how the book ended. This is Austen's first published work, but I'd have to say that I probably even prefer Northanger Abbey to this, and that's the first novel she ever optioned to a publisher and was not in a finished state when it was eventually published in 1817. I'm still not sure how I feel about this story. I loved the social satire, which was even more prevalent in S&S than it had been in P&P. But Elinor was the typical cardboard-cut-out Austen heroine who had no flaws and reformed everyone around her. Marianne was much more interesting, mainly because she was so inherently flawed, but even she was reformed in the end, along with Willoughby. If everything hadn't been so perfect and if there had been different pairings I would have enjoyed this book more, but as it is, I'm giving it 7/10.


  1. I've never read the book but I believe I saw the movie and if Kate Winslet played Marianne, then that's the character I really enjoyed! Although I'd have to say I related more to Elinor (Thompson's character).
    Interesting review. Thanks!

    1. I actually checked the movie out of my university library but didn't get the chance to watch it fully before it was due back. I saw the first 40 minutes and they didn't change a lot, but I could understand why they made changes. I'll need to watch it sometime when I'm not so busy and see whether I prefer the book or the film :)