When I read books about life abroad I'm always curious about descriptions of this life. I want to know how people behave, what they like, how their lives look like. Even more exciting are books which describe long passed times. For example life two hundred years ago. One of such writers, who would describe her times and the society in great details, was Jane Austen. And one of her best books is "Sense and Sensibility".
The book was published by Austen in 1811 under a pseudonym "The Lady" and it is her first ever published romantic novel. It follows life of the Dashwood family and especially of two sisters - Elinor and Marianne. The older Elinor seems to be the responsible one. She always knows how to behave in society, she chooses her words very carefully and appears to be cool and reserved. Marianne is a romantic soul. She is sometimes rush and too exuberant. Those two sisters will have to face big difficulties throughout the book. They will fall in love, have their hearts broken, loose their home, find a new place and new friends, and change a lot. In the end it is the reader's job to decide which sister was the sensible and which was the romantic one.
I like the book for many reasons. Firstly, the girls transformations. It's fascinating to read about their change, development and growth while encountering new situations in life. For me it's "comming of age" tale. Secondly, I like to observe life during that period. The action of the book takes place between 1792 and 1797. The story is a mine of information about the behavior, dress code, parties, women's position in society, family life and many, many more. Third, I like the twist at the end of the book. It teaches us a lesson I guess, that it's not only the outside that matters but we should make an effort to get to know somebody before we judge them. And that people can change due to circumstances they meet along their life path.
The book cover