Tuesday, March 11, 2008

#17 - Sense and Sensibility

I have fallen so far behind in my reading that I couldn't believe it when I finally finished a whole book. Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility is a lovely way to ease back into actual book blogging. A well-known story, captured by the 1995 Ang Lee film starring Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, the novel took me a while to read, only because my mind has been occupied on so many other things.

Put out of their house by their father's son (their half-brother), the Dashwoods (Elinor, Marianne, Margaret and Mrs.) are given a home by a distant cousin, Sir John Middleton. A man who does love a good dance, Sir John takes it upon himself to bring the Dashwoods well into his social circle, which includes his wife, Lady Middleton, Mrs. Jennings (her mother and an ardent matchmaker), and various other cousins and, of course, Colonel Brandon. Marianne Dashwood, the younger, impetuous, full-hearted sister of Elinor, falls madly for a rake named Willoughby, who doesn't act at all like a gentleman of sense should. And while we're on the topic of men in troubling situations, let's not for get Elinor's paramour, Edward Ferrars, who also suffers from a dose of poor judgment when it comes to the human heart. Elinor, the rock of good sense, whose own sensibilities are put to the test over and over again, might just be my favourite of all the Austen heroines. She's smart, plucky and full of incredibly smart things to say.

What else can I add? I love Jane Austen. I love every book of hers I read. I love the fact that I saved her for this stage of my life, when I can appreciate her long sentences and brilliant structures. When I'm not a foolish girl organizing my literary degree upon avoiding anything that wasn't published in the 20th century.

PHOTO IN CONTEXT: Just the cover tonight, I'm afraid.

READING CHALLENGES: The first of the two 1001 Books I'm to read this month, which means I'm still on track to meet at least one of my reading goals this month.

WHAT'S UP NEXT: The Horseman's Graves by Jacqueline Baker

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