Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To use a somewhat derogatory turn of phrase, this book popped my Jane Austen cherry.
Now that I have your attention, this really was my first Jane Austen. I was ten when I saw the movie (1995, written and starring Emma Thompson), but followed it up about two years later with the novel (I was a kid, sue me). I love this story. I love everything about it. I love the relationship between Elinor and Marianne, it sometimes reminds me of the relationship I have with my own sister, though I think our personalities are each a mesh of both elder Dashwoods.
I love Elinor's quiet adoration of Edward (and vice versa), and just how it differs from Marianne's open adoration of Willoughby. Marianne is really the only one that wears her heart on her sleeve. Even Colonel Brandon kept quiet about his own feelings for Marianne. That's what sets her young ideas of love apart from everyone else's. Elinor, Edward and Brandon are all very pragmatic about their affections. Elinor knows that if she voices her love for Edward, he could be cut off financially from his family, Edward knows that if he voices his love for Elinor (or his former love for Lucy), he'll be cut off. Brandon believes himself to be too old for Marianne, so he admires her from afar. Each person thinks about the repercussions of the object of their affection before acting. Except Marianne, and she has the hardest lesson to learn.
I love this story. It never gets old for me. I can quote it, and I'm determined my avid watching of the film is what got me the lead role in my high school production of "The Murder Room." I had the accent down pat, thanks to Jane Austen.
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