Short and Sweet Review // Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

I have finally finished my three book set of Jane Austen novels, whew! I have read Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, and now, Sense and Sensibility. Turns out this book was not only the most suffocating of the three but also, my favorite.

If you’ve been following along on my journey to discover what all the fuss surrounding Austen has been about you know that at first, I didn’t care much for her writing. I found the characters very either boring or incredibly irritating and all the time spent on explaining how everyone was acting to be very frustrating. That is until I realised that is the entire point of the books!

“Always resignation and acceptance. Always prudence and honour and duty. Elinor, where is your heart?”

// Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Of course, each also contains a love story. Sense and Sensibility actually has two! The novel follows “the young Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, to their new home, a meagre cottage on a distant relative’s property, where they experience love, romance and heartbreak.”. Of the sisters, I will only say that I liked and identified with Elinor the most, but it was Marianne who made me laugh and kept things interesting.

“If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy.”

// Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

The hardest part about reading these has been that at a lot of the problems could have been avoided, and the happy ending achieved much faster, if only everyone could just say what they feel plainly to each other. It seems that people, especially women, could only ever engage in small talk and gossip and had to act at all times above any true or deep feelings. The inability to express even the most basic of emotions must have been so frustrating!

I probably would have put the book down, it being so stifling and all, if it weren’t for the fact that it was actually kind of funny. With the other two books, I wanted to slap all of the annoying characters. With this one, I found all the drama and over the top emotion highly amusing. I think Marianne and her mother reminded me a little of my own mother and one of my sisters. Their antics are both exhausting and a little laughable.

“Money can only give happiness where there is nothing else to give it.”

// Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

I recommend the book for sure. I recommend all three if you can manage to read them without getting to frustrated by the forced restraint in all social interactions, or the preoccupation with marrying well. With each book, I have walked away wondering how those women were able to survive in the conditions they did. Yeah they all had money and they had little to worry about but they also led shallow lives and nothing they did felt meaningful or important.

It is strange to feel both contempt and sympathy for such people all at once.

“If a book is well written, I always find it too short.”

// Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

One thought on “Short and Sweet Review // Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen”

  1. The only Jane Austen books I’ve read are Pride & Prejudice, and Northanger Abbey, but that was many years ago. I do remember really enjoying Austen’s humour, though, and her writing style. Have always wanted to read Sense & Sensibility, but never got around to it. Perhaps I should try to prioritise it in my TBR list…

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