Synopsis: ‘The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile, Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.
The story centres on the lives and loves of the two Dashwood sisters; Elinor and Edward assumed to have an ‘understanding’, Edward secretly engaged to another character, Elinor thought to be engaged to another character. Marianne was assumed by most to be engaged, and her behaviour was seen as almost improper by many. A character had an affair with a young girl, which resulted in her becoming pregnant- he left. Two characters were driven apart, as she married his brother, and they almost eloped after the wedding. She left and sold herself. Marianne marries another character, who had loved her from the start. A character loves another, even after marrying another. Elinor marries.
Characters drink wine.
A female dog is referred to as ‘the nicest little b*tch of a pointer.’ An exclamation of ‘good God!’, ‘gracious God’, God’s sake and several of ‘Lord’.
Mentions of the church- Edward is given a parish.
Overall feel: A timeless classic, portraying the loves and the actions of two sisters. To those who love classics and have no problem reading older, more proper, English, this book is well worth reading. To those who bore easily, it may not suit you best. “But remember that the pain of parting from friends will be felt by everybody at times, whatever be their education or state. Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience, or give it a more fascinating name: call it hope.”