Title: Sense & Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen
Publisher: Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4 Crowns
Sense & Sensibility tells the story of the Dashwood sisters: Elinor-the level headed elder sister and Marianne the impulsive, emotional sister. When the girls’ father dies unexpectedly, they and their mother are obliged to move out of their house now occupied by their half brother John and his self centered wife Fanny. They are offered a cottage at Barton by a distant relative which while cozy, suits the Dashwood women well.
Elinor wonders if she saw more into the attachment she formed with Fanny’s brother Edward before they departed their old home. Marianne meets the dashing Willoughby and soon falls in love with him but suffers great heartache when he abandons her unexpectedly. The Dashwood sisters spend the next three months at numerous social engagements. Elinor discovers that Edward had a courtship with another woman while Marianne finds that Willoughby was not who she thought. She is so distraught at the turn of events that she rebuffs the affections of the kind Colonel Brandon.
Growing tired of the social scene in London , Elinor and Marianne agree to leave for Cleveland , the estate of one of their acquaintances. On the way Marianne falls gravely ill. Colonel Brandon confesses his true feeling for her but it remains to be seen if the girls will find a true happy ending or not.
My Review: Jane Austen can always be relied on for a good romance story with subtle nuances. I really enjoyed the characters of Elinor and Marianne as their personalities reminded me a lot of me and my older sister. The cast of characters are what you would expect for the time period and for a Jane Austen novel-the deserving girls who fall on multiple misfortunes in their lives, the snooty society people who refuse to accept them, the silly society girls, the handsome gentleman who is secretly a rogue and the dashing gentleman (or men) who come in at the end to sweep the much loved heroines off their feet.
I find the whole courtship rituals of this time period fascinating. This book also provided a few twists to keep it interesting. Even minor misunderstandings (such as Mrs. Jennings, the older woman the girls are travelling with mistaking some good news delivered to Elinor by Colonel Brandon as a marriage proposal) are well played. I don’t think this one was quite as good as Pride and Prejudice as that book and its irreplaceable Mr. Darcy will always hold a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf but I really enjoyed this one.
I give it 4 crowns and will now have to spend the rest of the week trying not to refer to everyone as “My Dear Mr. ________ when I answer the phone at work.
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