Another by Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility

My plan to binge-read all Jane Austen's books this year is going quite well so far: finished Sense and Sensibility as my third book by her this morning, followed by an undeniable admiration towards Austen's ability in making something ordinary very engaging. Something about her writing just feels very captivating despite the difficulty in understanding I have to go through (as I'm not used to the elaborate dialogues and choice of words her era seemed to be having).

Sense and Sensibility follows the story of the three Ms. Dashwoods and their mother who unfortunately have to get out of their comfortable home in Sussex upon their father's death. John Dashwood, their half-brother, doesn't seem to have the intention to keep his promise to help them after being persuaded by his selfish wife, Fanny. The four women, being offered a low-rent cottage in Devonshire by Mrs. Dashwood's cousin John Middleton, then move there and are welcomed with great hospitality.

Elinor Dashwood, the eldest, is actually a bit sad to put behind someone very dear to her heart: Fanny's older brother, Mr. Edward Ferrars. But as the sensible woman that she is, Elinor doesn't let it get in the way of her happiness. Contrary to her sister, Marianne Dashwood is more emotional and, more often than not, let her feeling guides her actions and decides her prejudices. It's hard for her to love a man if they share no similar interest, that's why her meeting with the handsome and charming Mr. John Willoughby excites her so much.

I admit, Sense and Sensibility started out okay. Although easier to read, the first few chapters weren't as good as Pride and Prejudice's nor that they were as charming as Emma's. Thankfully, as soon as the Dashwoods had moved to Devonshire, I was able to enjoy the plot more thoroughly. Throughout this book I also realized that all the fuss about Jane Austen's books was right: she admirably explored her characters and their depth. Austen didn't only manage to make each of them stand out differently. She had the ability to dig deep into various possibilities regarding their minds and actions and presented it as something to learn (or perhaps think) about.

I recognized myself more in Marianne though it's not surprising that I very much wanted to be a little like Elinor: logical and less emotional. I hadn't thought it would be equally interesting to follow two love stories at oncein my mind there would be one less appealing than the otherbut this book covered both Elinor and Marianne's journeys nicely thus it's hard to suppress the curiosity in me that bloomed every time I felt like I didn't get enough proportion of one or the other.

Very sadly I have to admit though, that as much as both interested me I didn't fall for the male love interests as greatly as I had thought I would, like the way Mr. Darcy and Mr. Knightley had made me. I might have been quite interested in Edward Ferrars for more than half of this book but it was gradually lessened by his own inconsistency at some point even though to be fair he's not that bad in the end. Both stories ended satisfyingly, I must add, albeit a bit anti-climax.

Overall, I enjoyed Sense and Sensibility a little more than I did Emma but I will choose the latter if I want to reread something one day. Even though the prior was easier to read and slightly more interesting to go through, I felt like it lacked a bit of chemistry. But the characters and the plot were really great: they were definitely the highlight of my reading journey.

Actual rating: 3.7