I read this book as part of the Austen in August challenge, the 20 Books of Summer challenge and the Reading England 2015 challenge.
First of all, I enjoyed Sense and Sensibility almost as much as I thought I would. Having read Jane Austen’s last completed novel, Persuasion, right before reading this one, some changes in style and in the maturity of the writing were more than apparent to me. (I’m really bad at differentiating among styles, so I was happy to notice this change).
Sense and Sensibility had some elements that took me by surprise. Despite the novel’s (and Jane Austen’s in general as far as I know) initial cheerful tone and atmosphere, it ended up containing some scenes that described heartache and the feelings of abandonment and being deceived in a pretty accurate manner. Still, the anguish of lost love is nowhere near as harrowing as that in Persuasion.
I loved the characters of both sisters, as I think that both their basic traits (Elinor’s sense anf Marianne’s sensibility) perfectly combine and complete each other. Edward was also a character I seemed to like from the very first time he appeared, though I couldn’t say the same for Willoughby – his wicked attitude couldn’t really be amended in my eyes, despite his initial prince-like appearance.
The descriptions of the English countryside, as well as of London, were as delightful as ever in all of Austen’s novels. The landscapes themselves might have not been described in much detail, but they were affected by the sisters’ feelings of the time as well as by the people inhabiting or simply associated with the places described each time.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book a lot and the typical Austen way of wrapping every mess up in the end was more than redeeming.