Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


This audiobook gave me almost 13 hours of pleasant listening as I walked, cooked, or pulled weeds. What a treat. Jane Austen has such nice insights into human behavior and writes so pleasingly. 

The contrast of Elinor's sense to Marianne's sensibility is appealing and the sisters' devotion to each other is reminiscent of Elizabeth and Jane Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. Though some of the characters are ludicrous, they are not present so much as Mrs. Bennett, Miss Bates in Emma or Anne Elliot's father and sister in Persuasion. Elinor and Marianne's half-brother and his wife are thoroughly unpleasant, greedy characters. One character, Mrs. Jennings, a neighbor, begins as a pretty silly person, but proves herself to be a kindly, able friend to the family. Except for the greedy John Dashwoods, I would say the characters are more moderate than in the other Austen books I've read. Even the chief villain, Mr. Willoughby, who breaks Marianne's heart is given an opportunity to make the case to Eleanor that he is not as bad as he appeared.

Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility, originally published in 1811, Penguin Classics version has 368 pages (I listened to the audiobook). Available in the UVa and public libraries and from Amazon. 

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