Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics
Challenges: The Classics Circuit
Synopsis: The two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne couldn’t be more different if they tried. Elinor is clam and considerate whereas Marianne is romantic and passionate. The two sisters have very different ideas of what constitutes a perfect husband, and both face heartache because they set their sights on men who do not quite live up to the sisters ideas of who these men are.
My Thoughts: Well I don’t think I will ever be an Austen fan and this book did nothing to change that (but for the Austen versus Dickens fight it should be noted that I am also not a Dickens fan, so call me a tie). I like this book better than I liked Emma last year but it is still not one of my favourites. I did see the humour and sarcasm that everyone seems to go on about in Austen’s books. Quotes such as the one below had me giggling:
At last the affair was decided. The ivory, the gold, and the pearls, all received their appointment, and the gentleman having named the last day on which his existence could be continued without the possession of the toothpick-case, drew on his gloves with leisurely care and bestowing another glance on the Miss Dashwoods, but such a one as seemed rather to demand than express admiration, walked off with a happy air of real conceit and affected indifference.
The comment about not being able to live another day without a toothpick-case strikes me as a rather caustic comment on the materialism of certain parts of society at the time. I found it highly amusing that we could write something similar about certain aspect of our own society. This is perhaps where we can find the reason why these books keep enduring. There is some insight into the character of mankind.
Despite this I do not love the book as others seem to love Austen. I think it is perhaps the fact that the books all seem to similar for me. There are the interfering older women; the miss understandings between the young couples; the need for money, although no one ever seems to actually work. It is all always so similar. I also found the ending to be a bit to pat for me, and I do like a happy ending.
I have now read all but one of Austen’s novels left to read: Persuasion and from what I have heard this is many people’s favourite so I will probably give it a go, but Austen will never fall on my frequent re-reads.