Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Genres: Classics, Fiction, Romance, …

Pages: 405

Format: Paperback

Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

“The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!”

Jane Austen’s novel tells the story of Marianne Dashwood, who 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.

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The story starts when Mr. Dashwood dies. He leaves his entire estate entailed to his son John and daughter-in-law Fanny (I didn’t like her at all!). His widow and her three daughters are left with little money and no home.

Over the next few weeks, the eldest daughter Elinor begins to fall for Fanny’s brother Edward… But soon after that, her family has to move to Devonshire, where a tiny cottage is being rented to them by one of Mrs. Dashwood’s relatives.

In little time, Marianne attracts the attention of two men. One is the very well spoken but much older Colonel Brandon, and the other is the dashing and romantic Willoughby.
But everything is not quite what it seems when Willoughby breaks off his relationship with her after all seemed so well between the two of them to marry.

It is during a trip to London that both Elinor and Marianne discover devastating facts about the men they are in love with, when they know that both of them are engaged to other women. It’s only after these unfortunate events that they will learn what love really means.

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First things first. I rarely, RARELY read classics because I thought I wouldn’t like them that much. I never thought I could be so wrong!!

I loved this book! I can genuinely say that I would love to read more books like this one – and I will since I want to do the Rory Gilmore Challenge! This was one of the books that was in her list, but it was previous in my TBR for ages since everyone recommends it to me. But did I listen? No… I did not and that is why it took me this long to see what I was missing.

Jane Austen’s writing is beautiful! Although Sense and Sensibility is not one of Jane Austen’s best novels, it is nonetheless a major novel! This was Jane Austen’s first book and consequently one of her most accessible works. 

Starting with the title,  Sense and Sensibility is an extremely clever title, with a hidden meaning that you uncover when you start to understand the Dashwood sisters. Titles from nowadays are so much more plain and often full of clues to the story, that it was lovely to see the contrary for a change.

The Plot was extremely engaging and full of unexpected twists. In this book we have a dramatic peak on Marianne’s romantic troubles, while also quietly exploring Elinor’s struggles. The story is full of movement and happenings. We explore affairs and difficult family relations… Some events really caused me a lot of emotion, I would say that the emotions I most felt during this book were of revolt due to all the unfairness and sadness for the misfortune of the sisters. But the end made me cry.

The characters in this book were many, but obviously I especially loved the Dashwood sisters, Elinor being my favorite!

Elinor and Marianne have completely opposite personalities, and the book talks about the struggle to find love when you’re either too romantic or too reserved for your own good. Elinor is a down-to-earth person that loves practicality, she is the sensible one of the sisters; while Marianne is a romantic, dreamy and extremely sensitive person. And that I believe is the meaning of the title. Both of them will have to learn to become a bit more like the other if they want to truly be happy.

Their younger sister, Margaret didn’t appear much but their mother, Mrs Dashwood did especially in the beginning. I found her to be a delightful person, she loved her daughters more than anything and would do everything for them.

Colonel Brandon was a pleasure of a person. He was simple and quiet but a lovely person. He would do anything to see Marianne happy and he shows that in thousands of small ways.

Edward Ferrars I am still in doubt of liking or disliking him; although he didn’t appear much he is often talked about. As for Willoughby I didn’t like him since the beginning. He sure seemed a good person some times, he definitely doesn’t look harmful but in a lot of moments we can see him being not so pleasant to others.

As for Lucy Steele I didn’t like her at all. She is agony in person. I never thought of her as being a good or kind person, even tho she really tried to seem so! She really made me mad!

The story is often passed in Norland Park, Barton Park or Cleveland. There’s also a bit of London, but not much was described in that part. In this very realistic world, people’s lives are often compromised by the amount of money they have or the power of their name.

Sense and Sensibility is an emotionally powerful, beautifully written story about two very different sisters, and their long and difficult path to find a lasting love! I would recommend this book to everyone and I would have loved to enter this world sooner than I did! I am also extremely excited to see the movie Sense and Sensibility by Ang Lee!!

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What classic would you recommend me to read next?

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