Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is my first Jane Austen novel that I've read with intent. I know all the stories, I've seen all the movies, but I told myself I was going to read all of her books in order of publication in a summer. Nope - that's not going to happen. One does not simply read Jane Austen; one becomes pulled into Jane Austen's world. Her books are not "quick reads." They are literature to savor, to pour over. Every word must be read in detail, every sentence examined for its truth.
Sense and Sensibility follows the lives of two sisters, Marianne and Elinor, in their quest for love. They are opposites in every way except their love and compassion towards one another. Marianne is compulsive, prone to rash decisions and bouts of drama. Elinor is reserved and polite, Ms. Manners at all times. While Marianne falls for the charming, yet unavailable (not that she knows this) Willouguhby, she suffers a heartbreak like no other. Elinor, ever stoic in her demeanor, suffers her own heartbreak at the presumed lost affection of Edward Ferrars. Both sisters must learn to cope with the unexpected outcomes of love; however, in the end Jane weaves a tale that returns the reader to the idea of true romance.
Reading Jane is not for the non-committed. Her prose is intricate and admittedly, I almost gave up. However, perseverance gave me the best reward - entering Jane's world. I am quite ready to pick up the next book Pride and Prejudice knowing full well it will impact as much as her debut novel has.
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