Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie of Angieville and "focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc." 

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Publisher: Um...lots (for this new cover, CreateSpace)
Publication date: 1811 (way retro)
ISBN: 9781451539400 (for this edition)
Source: Library (book club set)

Sense And Sensibility

Elinor and Marianne Dashwood have been cruelly sent away from their childhood home by an unfeeling older half-brother who inherited all their father had.  When they are forced to move to a much smaller cottage, Elinor leaves behind her heart with Edward Ferrars, a young man who never quite manages to declare his own love for her.  Marianne is swept off her feet by the dashing Willoughby who bears a mysterious past and an inability to come out and declare his intentions.  When the two sisters face similar tragic circumstances, they must both find a way to deal with grief - two very different ways.

Things I Liked:
Elinor is far and away my favorite character.  A selfless, kind, and caring person who always manages to think of others.  Yes, she suffers and she recognizes it, but she doesn't dwell on it completely.  She has her flaws as well, seeming to ignore those feelings sometimes, but that just adds to her attractions.  I found Marianne and several other similar characters to be fools all around.  It was interesting to see how Austen would poke fun at them with her sly word choices.  I also liked how it was also a sisters novel and not just a romantic story.  I caught more of the humor and wit in the story this time around.  Austen continues to be one of my favorite authors, especially for the subtle humor and the spanking good stories she turned out.

Things I Didn't Like:
I didn't like how there were so many reprehensible characters throughout.  I would have liked to have more characters I could admire.  And the ending for Marianne was actually kind of sad.  The movies I've seen definitely don't include the part where she kind of gives in to everyone else's wishes.  Pretty sad if you think about it, but probably not that uncommon at the time.

So many knock-offs and sequels, it would be impossible to enumerate them all!

And, of course, other Austen novels

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ****

Are you an Austen purist (no knock-offs or sequels), an anything Austen related (all knock-offs and sequels) or a non-Austen reader?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I haven't read much Austen, simply because I find the old english a little hard to understand. However I don't think I would be adverse to reading any knock-offs or sequels. Austen's books are very inspiring, so I can understand why others would want to write stories like hers. =)

  2. BushMaid, I haven't read many knock-offs, but I kind of like them when I read them. If I were to be an author, I would wish I could inspire as many stories as she did :)

  3. I love Jane Austen. Have read them all. And I enjoy most Austen related books as well. Just have to be careful, some are pretty smutty. So I like to find reviews first. That's why I LOVE blogs like yours! Thank you so much for taking the time to put your thoughts and comments on the books you read. It helps so much with my choices as well as those for my children. I don't go to the library without a list from your blog of ideas for my 12 year old!!

  4. Des, you are so sweet! Thank you for letting me know that my blog can actually be helpful (sometimes I wonder). I've actually only read one or two spin-offs, mostly because I am uninterested. But, I have heard lots of them have some smutty stuff - good idea to check reviews of them before reading :)

  5. I very much like Jane Austen. A list of literary classics would not be complete without her. Jim

  6. Austen is real good. I've read Sense and Sensibility over and over again, she didn't disappoint me everytime.


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