Before Mr. Dashwood passes away, leaving Norland to his son John, he makes John promise to look after his step-mother and half-sisters. However, after his passing, John’s wife, Fanny, convinces him that Mrs. Dashwood and his sisters can be well cared for with only receiving a minimal sum. To avoid having to deal with Norland’s new owners, Mrs. Dashwood and her daughters, Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret, move away to a cottage in the country provided by a cousin of Mrs. Dashwood. There, the sisters meet new acquaintances and experience all the emotions that come with love and loss.
After seeing Love & Friendship, I had a hankering to read some more Jane Austen and luckily Sense and Sensibility was still on my ‘to read’ list. What I liked about this book was the casualness of the plot. It made me feel closer with the characters: like I was sitting in the room with them while they told me about Mrs. Jennings and the Steele Sisters and their latest antics and love interests and all the drama associated.
However, that casualness also caused me to feel slightly agitated and impatient. There were parts of the book where I felt the plot wasn’t going anywhere and there were several instances of me asking, ‘what is the point in telling me this?’ These thoughts tended to happen when Austen would describe scenes where nothing in particular would be going on to advance the plot.
The only other trouble I had was I became slightly confused by what specific character Austen would be talking about in certain parts of the book. Which isn’t that surprising when everyone is so formal: calling both sisters Miss Steele or Miss Dashwood would confuse anyone unless they were in the room and could physically see the characters. Also, the fact that Anne Steele would be called Nancy confused me, until I looked it up and learned that Nancy was apparently a nickname for Anne.
While I enjoyed Sense and Sensibility and would recommend any Jane Austen fan read it, it is not necessarily my favorite, and I would probably recommend Emma or Pride and Prejudice over Sense and Sensibility.