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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen May 25, 2009

Posted by KJ theBookGirl in recommendation, review.
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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Working my way through the works of Jane Austen I naturally have come to that great book; Sense and Sensibility.

 

The description is as follows:

“Unfairly deprived of their family inheritance by the grasping Mrs John Dashwood and her husband, Elinor and Marianne Dashwood and their mother find themselves in greatly reduced circumstances.

Compelled to leave Norland in Sussex for Barton Cottage in Devonshire, the two sisters are soon accepted into their new society. Marianne, whose sweet radiance and open nature charm the roguish John Willoughby, is soon deeply in love. Elinor, whose disposition is more cautious and considered, who carefully conceals her emotions, is suffering the loss of Edward Ferrars whom she has left behind.

Despite their very different personalities, both sisters experience great sorrows in their affairs of the heart: Marianne demonstrably wretched and Elinor allowing no one to see her private heartache. It is, however, the qualities common to them both – discernment, constancy and integrity in the face of the fecklessness of others – that allow them entry into a new life of peace and contentment.”

 

The plot of this classic novel follows the Dashwood sisters as their love is tried and tested and as they grow up to find that a fairy tale life is hard to find for anyone. 

The narration primarily follows Elinor, whose nature is to shield her feelings and be nothing less than devoted to the happiness of her family. This style is really intriguing as it seems that Elinor’s love story is merely a sub-plot to her sister’s extravagant and emotional journey which her personality makes known to all and of course makes her the centre of attention. 

Yet, it seems to me, that Elinor is still our (as the reader) main focus, for we learn to look deeper in to actions, words and empathy to understand how Elinor feels and this makes us much more intimate with her than we can be with Marianne, despite her being so much more open.

The characters thoughout this novel are extremely well developed and as the reader we learn to love and hate the whole cast of  personalities as they meddle, interfere and generally disrupt the Dashwoods’ lives.

The style in which this book is written is very easy to fall into, despite the language being ye olde English, as you have the theme all distinguished authors possess of relating the reader to the main character and therefore making you feel connected with her. This, consequently, makes us feel the journey which Elinor follows that much more important, and makes us that much more emotionally attached to Elinor.

Bad points? oh how I hate this part of reviews! I think the only disappointment I had with the novel is that the ending is far too abrupt in my eyes – without giving any spoilers, I would have wanted it to be further developed. However, on that point I shall say no more in case you have not read the book yet.

I also became quickly confused with who was who, especially when they are all referred to by their last names! This is no criticism – as it is truthful of the times – but is something to be aware of when reading so as you do not get confused too!

In conclusion, Sense and Sensibility is a beautifully written book and one which I believe no one has a single excuse not to read! Elinor is an enchanting character and well worth accompanying for her journey throughout the novel.

KJ
theBookGirl KJ Reading

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