I finished Sense and Sensibility – I fought through to the end while on vacation in Maine late last week. And I was never so glad to finish one book and start another as I was once I moved from this to The Art of Fielding (for another book club meeting I didn’t actually make it to – shocker).
If you have not read Sense and Sensibility, and do not desire to read blatant spoilers, please do not read further. I will summarize with this: I do not recommend reading it unless you also have a desire to read all of Austen’s novels for yourself. It’s slow and you will not be entertained. In fact, you may feel quite dissatisfied at the end. I certainly do.
Okay, it was fine. At this point, I’m comparing my experience to what I know of Jane Austen: a first read of Northanger Abbey, a few reads of Pride and Prejudice and countless journies through Emma. Sense and Sensibility. Going up against these reads I have loved, this just did not capture my attention nearly enough. I felt like I knew exactly what was going to happen – I did not have any moments of surprise, save near the end when Austen demonstrates that indeed Colonel Brandon pines for the obnoxious Marianne. And when Edward finally proposes to Elinor, Jane Austen keeps all the details a secret from us! We read through all these pages of insufferable detail in which I was frankly unconvinced that Edward was worth Elinor’s attentions to get to this (emphasis added):
How soon he had walked himself into the proper resolution, however, how soon an opportunity of exercising it occurred, in what manner he expressed himself, and how he was received, need not be particularly told. This only need to be said;- that when they all sat down to the table at four o’clock, about three hours after his arrival, he had secured his lady, engaged her mother’s consent, and was not only in the rapturous profession of the lover, but, in the reality of reason and truth, one of the happiest of men.
NEED NOT BE PARTICULARLY TOLD?! Are you kidding me?! Why does Jane Austen hate me?
I trust that the film adaptation will be much better and that Kate Winslet will inspire me to love Marianne and Emma Thompson will prove to be a perfect Elinor. But if I don’t get a proposal scene, I’m done.
Well, done until I move onto Pride and Prejudice, a title with so much adapted material, I shall be happily inundated with Austen for the rest of July.
Verdict: it wasn’t for me, i don’t recommend it, but do what you want