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Mrs Dashwood and her two daughters must leave the family home and move to a small house in another part of the country. Soon Marianne and Elinor both ...Show synopsisMrs Dashwood and her two daughters must leave the family home and move to a small house in another part of the country. Soon Marianne and Elinor both fall in love, but they must first learn some terrible secrets before they find true happiness. "Penguin Readers" is a series of simplified novels, film novelizations and original titles that introduce students at all levels to the pleasures of reading in English. Originally designed for teaching English as a foreign language, the series' combination of high interest level and low reading age makes it suitable for both English-speaking teenagers with limited reading skills and students of English as a second language. Many titles in the series also provide access to the pre-20th century literature strands of the National Curriculum English Orders. "Penguin Readers" are graded at seven levels of difficulty, from "Easystarts" with a 200-word vocabulary, to Level 6 (Advanced) with a 3000-word vocabulary. In addition, titles fall into one of three sub-categories: "Contemporary", "Classics" or "Originals". At the end of each book there is a section of enjoyable exercises focusing on vocabulary building, comprehension, discussion and writing. Some titles in the series are available with an accompanying audio cassette, or in a book and cassette pack. Additionally, selected titles have free accompanying "Penguin Readers Factsheets" which provide stimulating exercise material for students, as well as suggestions for teachers on how to exploit the Readers in class.Hide synopsis
Of all Austen's works, this one improved most on long acquaintance.
I remember liking it less than the others when I read it for - I thought - the first time, was surprised to find something I'd written about it some years earlier.
So it made no impression on the first reading, and little (for an Austen) on the 2nd. I was more like passionate Marianne than like restrained Elinor, but Marianne's relentless seriousness made her hard to relate to also.
The heroes' characters really are less developed than Austen's others - frankly, I was never able to make much of Edward until Hugh Grant played him. And Colonel Brandon seemed old and dull to me.
Of course, Austen's witty observations and foible-revealing dialog make even this more austere book very enjoyable.
On subsequent readings, I more heartily admired Elinor's unglamorous virtues, felt greater compassion for foolish Marianne, and relished the girls' sound matches.The intervening years had taught me the importance of weighing character over other qualities in potential mates, and the benefits of impulse control.
After an easier sell (Pride & Prejudice or Emma) gives them a taste for Austen, passionate young ladies should read Sense and Sensibility - perhaps at least three times before embarking on love lives. You never know, it could help.
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Personality laden, action/adventure light. Nov 2, 2007
Sense and Sensibility is a gentle book about people and relationships, about lies and class bigotry, about people and how to recognize the "right one" when you meet her/him. You won't find thrilling action scenes with dragons and wizards or orcs and trolls. What you will find is a thoroughly engaging and witty group of genteel people to whom life and circumstance has dealt a series of severe, but not unsurvivable blows. The ending is satisfyingly happy with all the right people getting together.
Only four stars, because the language and manners are formal and "olde" enough to seem stilted at first, but if you will give yourself a chance, I think you will come to enjoy the book very much.
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