Book Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

(My review can also be found on my goodreads account)

Rating: 4/5 stars

I have finally finished, and I have to say I rather enjoyed this. I’m a fan of Jane Austen, the time period she lived in, etc. Shockingly enough, I have not read all of her pieces. I have seen the film Sense and Sensibility, so I’ll admit that while I was reading, I was comparing to the movie. I was not disappointed.

Elinor’s character is new to me. She’s more reserved, speaks her mind when it’s necessary but tends to hold in her emotions and own emotional pains. Comparing her to her sister Marianne and her mother, well, she’d be like a rock-emotionless and seemingly stable.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved Elinor. Her thoughts on what was happening to Marianne, her brother and sister in law, Lucy, and others…It was all great. I do wish she spoke up more, especially on her feelings for Edward. I may have been comparing her to Elizabeth who had, to me, a stronger relationship with her sisters, especially Jane. In Sensibility, while Elinor loves her sister, she’s not very forthcoming with her emotions and what’s happening in her life.

I felt that Sense and Sensibility was really Marianne’s story, not Elinor’s. Is this a bad thing? If you believe Elinor is the main character and wanted to see her story, than yes. Still, as readers we get to read her thoughts, see what’s rolling around in her head, but we have to admit that the story revolved around Marianne and Willoughby (I am not ashamed to admit I had to look up how to spell his name).

Speaking on those two lovebirds…I’d like to move toward Marianne and Colonel Brandon. Now, the film had him played by Alan Rickman, and I adore the man to pieces which lead me to adore the Colonel. In the book, I still liked Colonel Brandon but I didn’t like how he ended up with Marianne. The last chapter or two felt rushed in moving the Colonel and Marianne together. She’s been obsessed with Willoughby for eons, but all of a sudden she’s willing to be with the Colonel, a man she thought was too old and dull to be a match for her. Personality wise, he has not changed. The only things that have changed are

  1. Willoughby is married and a now known selfish douche and
  2. Brandon has been proven to be a selfless man who will do anything for her.

But the second was a dead giveaway at the beginning! It was clear that Brandon cared for her from the start and he showed this the whole time, but Marianne was wrapped into Willoughby’s world. Once she got out, she was depressed and wanted to (paraphrasing here) live her life for her family. So…why does she end up marrying the Colonel so fast? I did not sense any love from Marianne to the Colonel at all. It makes me disappointed in their relationship and makes me wonder if they would even be happy.

Now, to Elinor and Edward. I did not realize how little interaction they actually had. So much of the book is filled with Marianne’s issues that I would forget about Edward entirely. Again, I have issues with the ending. Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic, maybe I shouldn’t compare it to Pride and Prejudice (Sensibility was written before Prejudice, right? Maybe practice makes perfect?)but I am and I did, so I was disappointed. No declaration of love really. Nothing from Elinor at least. Throughout the story, Elinor talks about how her feelings for Edward are of…admiration at best. She feels horrible when she thinks he’s married, but still, she never says anything about love. If she does, someone please point it out to me. Seriously, no sarcasm or anger here. Point it out, I must have missed it.

I wanted the “You have bewitched me body and soul, and I love you” type of confession. Pour your hearts out! Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Marianne. She was like this, showing how much she cared so everyone could bask in her happiness and joy.

I know it seems like I had a lot of problems with this book, but overall I still enjoyed it. I just wished…I wished for more when it came to the love between the characters.

Reading Dates: May 8, 2014-June 7, 2014

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