Genre: classic, romance
Marianne Dashwood wears
her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing
but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning
that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo.
Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling
to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to
her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened
loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are
to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern
the rules of love.
This is the third book I have read by Jane Austen and although I enjoyed it, it is not my favorite. It lacked some of the elements that made me love Pride & Prejudice and Emma so much, but the writing style was great. The plot was interesting, but unfortunately the middle of the book was quite slow paced. It still compelled me to keep reading and the pace picked up towards the end. The ending was very descriptive again, like the beginning of the book, and some of the things I was hoping that would happen were mentioned only briefly on the last few pages so it felt a bit rushed. I think the middle of the book could have been condensed a bit and the ending could have been somewhat longer, but I still was really pleased after finishing this book.
This book feels more distant and descriptive than the other books do. Also it doesn't have as much dialogue and I think that the dialogue is definitely one of Austen's strenghts. P&P and Emma are full of witty lines and I would have loved to see those in this novel as well.
The book focusses on Elinor and Marianne whose personalities are polar opposites. Although I myself am an introvert and because of that would have expected to relate to Elinor the most, I was often a little frustrated with her and had a hard time connecting with her. Elinor conforms a lot more to society than Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, the heroines of the other stories, do. She always kept her feelings to herself and when people treated her badly she didn't do anything about it. Elinor's love interest, Edward Ferrars, was a nice guy, but honestly he came across a little boring. I would have loved to know a little more of the things Elinor liked about him, because that way I probably would have cared about him more too.
The relationship between Elinor and Marianne was really sweet. Although they both have problems they struggle with, they try to set their personal feelings aside to come to the aid of their sibling.
Although this was not my favorite Jane Austen book I can't wait to read other books by her!