I read Sense and Sensibility as part of the Sense and Sensibility Bicentenary Challenge 2011. The book (a pretty hardcover version) had been sitting on my shelves for some time, so it was a good opportunity to get onto it! Sense and Sensibility is the only Jane Austen novel I haven’t seen as a movie or series (yes, I know, shameful) so I was relying on Miss Austen herself to tell me all about this book.
I’m sure everyone knows the plot of this book (or can Google it), but in short, it’s the story of two single sisters of marriageable age and their trials and tribulations when it comes to men. There’s the cad, the gentleman (actually, two of them), a trip to London and a nasty illness. The sisters are very different – Elinor is sensible and restrained, while Marianne is passionate and impulsive.
The Austen wit is hard at work in this novel, and I enjoyed being able to chuckle at some of the actions of the characters (especially Marianne’s outbursts). It is finely written and captures the time well. I could picture Barton and the Dashwood’s cottage easily. I found myself on the edge of my seat at Marianne’s illness, wishing for penicillin – Austen captured well the despair that Elinor found herself in.
I did enjoy this book, but I still think Pride and Prejudice is my favourite. Elinor is a little too restrained for my liking, while Marianne is a bit too impetuous.
Read this if: you like your classics with wit and clever social commentary
8 out of 10.