I’m sorry literary lovers, but what is the big deal about Jane Austen? Ok, I’ve only read one of her novels, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, but I was literally bored to tears as I ploughed my way through this ….. so-called romance. The blurb on the fly jacket is thoroughly misleading; it certainly exaggerates its own self-importance! I can certainly live without her and I will not be reading ‘S & S’ again and again.
All of the novel’s characters remained faceless to me; I could not warm to any of them as they all came across as spoilt, irksome individuals who live in a bubble of bland high society. The only character who brought a dash of colour to the proceedings was the partially effervescent, Mrs Jennings who was only comical because she was apparently blind to the selfish desires of the other individuals. Take the principal family in the piece, the Dashwoods; all of them – even the relatively engaging Elinor – are primarily concerned about the social, familial and financial connections of their milieu. Their lives revolve around extended visits to country estates and London’s town houses. Then, the main plot-line is nothing more exciting than Marianne’s disastrous engagement to the dastardly Willoughby. It was obvious that the ever-loyal Colonel Brandon would come to her rescue and, finally, Elinor would be united with dear Edward Ferrars, the love of her life.
All-in-all, I was totally unmoved by the storyline and Jane Austen’s prose. Maybe I should wait until I delve into her world of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, Mr Darcey and all, but….. maybe not!