January 29, 2016
Looking Back - Sense & Sensibility
Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Fiction - Classic
Originally Published: 1811
1996 Barnes and Noble Books
Finished in January 1996
The first of Jane Austen's published novels, Sense and Sensibility portrays the life and loves of two starkly different sisters: Elinor and Marianne Dashwood.
The elder Elinor is the epitome of prudence, discretion, and self-control, while Marianne embodies emotion, openness, and enthusiasm. This contrast results in their attraction to men of vastly different characters--and sparks family and societal dramas that are played out around their contrasting romances.
Secrets, betrayals, and confessions soon complicate the story, whose goal is nothing less than the achievement of perfect happiness. Beyond the polar differences between the two sisters' characters lies the universal dilemma of balancing what we owe to other human beings and our own needs.
In this classic novel, Austen--the most insightful and, at the same time, most entertaining of novelists--demonstrates her gift for irony, which gives her portrayal of ordinary life the heft of profound drama. As in every great work of literature, the philosophical resolution of this one is ambiguous: It is for the reader to decide whether sense and sensibility have truly merged--if life and love can really coexist.
My Original Notes:
Read this for my newly created "Book Group" (Linda Thomas, Nancy Wood and myself). Started off slow, but eventually caught my interest. Similar to Edith Wharton (privileged upper class). Lots of thought spent on acquiring a husband of wealth and importance. Somewhat trivial, yet apparently accurate for the time. Sparked interest to now read Pride and Prejudice.
We had a wonderful, two-hour long discussion about the book. We all enjoyed it and are excited to see the new movie tonight!
My Current Thoughts:
I'm sure this will cause gasps from some of you, but I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of Jane Austen's books. As I recall, I struggled with this novel, preferring Edith Wharton's works to Austen's. I have no recollection of this book and while I know I saw the film (starring Emma Thompson and Hugh Grant), I still couldn't tell you what it's about.
Should I re-read it, now that 20 years have passed (and I am, hopefully, a more mature reader than I was back then) or should I simply watch the movie(s) and call it good?
I didn't rate the book back in 1996, but given that it wasn't that remarkable, today I will give it an average rating.