Love, betrayal, secrets and money

Despite having read Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen umpteen times I have only just realised how frustrated Elinor must have been for most of her life. Elinor is the sensible sister and Marianne and their mother are the ones that live much more by emotion. Elinor finds herself surrounded by people who over react, fail to empathise with others, enjoy teasing their families without realising the hurt they cause and always put themselves first. It is a wonder that she is not more angry than she appears.

I was rereading this book in audio form, expertly acted by Juliet Stevenson, and I think that the change of medium and the talent of the reader made me see things a little differently than before. As I realised how overwhelmed Elinor was by the actions of others and how she had to deal with their problems whilst keeping her own heartbreak hidden I could see how the author slowly changes the viewpoint so that we begin to sympathise with some of these aggravating people. Marianne shows great loyalty to her sister and Mrs Jennings shows amazing generosity to match her bawdy teasing.

Sense and Sensibility has a marvellous opening as Elinor and Marianne’s half-brother is encouraged by his wife not to assist the little family when the father dies. His wife is behind this, wanting to keep the family money for herself and her children, so she has to persuade her husband that he really has assisted the family when he has not and that it is his own idea which it isn’t – it’s a brilliant piece of writing and, in my opinion, laugh out loud funny.

I enjoyed this reread immensely. This is a book that stands the test of time well and you can identify with Elinor and/or Marianne easily. I also enjoyed the minor characters in this reading although I still can only see Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon although it has been many years since I saw the film.

This is a book about love, betrayal, manipulation, money and responsibility and it’s a great one. See here for my review of Persuasion.

2 thoughts on “Love, betrayal, secrets and money

  1. Every time I read it, I think it’s a shame that Elinor doesn’t just say “You’re not helping” to Marianne and her mother. I think she tries to say it. If they did change, though, the book wouldn’t be half as much fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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