Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I read this for the Jane Austen Challenge (badge in the sidebar) but also because, wow, I love Jane Austen. Despite the fact I wouldn't actually want to live in that time or place, I love reading about it, and I love Austen's ironic charm. Yes, ironic charm. Don't judge me for using that phrase; I'm being genuine.

Anyway, Sense and Sensibility turned out to be one of my favorite Austen novels (right below Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion). There are a lot of different human dynamics and relationships at work in the novel, which made it always interesting and helped the pacing a lot too. The novel wasn't terribly long, either, which also helped with the pacing (sometimes Austen novels can get a bit hard-going...I'm looking at you, Emma and Fanny).
The two main characters, Elinor and Marianne, were lovely! They are both completely different, but in supremely complimentary ways. They don't quite understand each other, as siblings tend to do, and it takes a while for them to appreciate the strengths of the other person. Each of them has some pretty big flaws but also powerful strengths, and I thought Austen handled both very well, letting us see the good, the bad, and how each sister displays her strengths and weaknesses. I also am amused by how I can relate to BOTH sisters. I understand how Marianne wants everyone to be honest and emotional and tactless all the time, but I generally act more like Elinor, in that I don't let people see how I'm really feeling unless it's absolutely necessary.
I have to say I liked Edward Ferrars a LOT more than in the movie (yes, I've seen the Emma Thompson movie like 10 times...don't judge me). He was so cute and awkward and sweet all the time, and strong when it counted. *nods* I approved. Colonel Brandon and Willoughby were both delicious. I loved to hate the Dashwoods' half-brother and his wife. Bleh!
As always, great settings. It's fun to see different places, or different sides, of England in Austen's novels. In this one we mostly get Devonshire and London, so there's plenty of space for both countryside and city scenes.
I think the bit about this book that makes me saddest is Willoughby. Stupid Willoughby! He's so awesome and then he's so fail. Sad faces.


Snazel said...

Well, I'm certainly glad the pacing isn't the same as Emma. That was excruciating.

And is Persuasion your favourite, or P & P?

Bahnree said...

Pride and Prejudice. :D But it's a very close call.