Wednesday 17 August 2011

Read-along update – volume 2 of Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

This month I'm taking part in the Sense and Sensibility read-along hosted by Risa over at Bread Crumb Reads. In a weekly period, we read a volume of the book and then come together to discuss it over on Risa's blog. I've decided to also post updates about my progress here on my blog as I make my way through it.

But beware: If you haven't read the book already, read on with care because there are going to be spoilers!

Oh my good Lord! Was this volume crazy or what?! As if volume one wasn't good enough, two just blew my mind! Again, I don't even know where to start, even though this time I was kind to myself and made notes. Soooo I'll begin with the most obvious case of Marianne and Willoughby.

Poor, poor Marianne! I could completely understand her while she was writing these letters, trying to ensure that Willoughby knew she was in London and expecting him to visit her at any moment. As I suspect is the case with Marianne, when you're blinded by such strong beliefs and feelings towards a person it's difficult to get past it and see what's really going on. And his reaction towards seeing her at the gathering was horrible, but his letter to her the next day even worse. Did Willoughby ever intend to tell her, or was he just going to be a complete man and avoid the subject, hoping that it would be forgotten? There is no way I believe that he wasn't aware of her feelings before these letters.

But oh, then to finally find out what brought Colonel Brandon to London in such a hurry! Are there even words for this affair? I mean how scandalous could this have been in the Regency era – Willoughby getting a girl pregnant before marriage and then abandoning her? It's completely insane! I feel so sorry for Colonel Brandon and the loss he has suffered at the expense of nasty, amoral men like Willoughby. I truly hope that he finds some peace and happiness by the end of the book (though I do kind of suspect it might happen with one of the Dashwood sisters).

Then there is Elinor and Edward's situation. Does anybody else just wish that Lucy Steele, Mrs John Dashwood and Mrs Ferrars would fall down a well, never to be seen again? Okay, so a bit dramatic, but do they all need to be so downright revolting? As if I didn't already dislike Lucy and Mrs John Dashwood enough, now I despise the mention of them. They are just so incredibly selfish! Can Lucy not think of anything else, apart from Edward and pleasing his family? I'm certainly prepared for her to get her just-desserts in volume three. And what the heck is Mrs John Dashwood's problem with Elinor and Marianne anyway? I don't understand why she dislikes them so intensely. I mean, so what if Elinor and Edward get on – it's not like Elinor is a nasty good-for-nothing like her! Plus, don't even get me started on Mr John Dashwood. He is such a weak man! Does he not see what a manipulative, scheming person his wife is? Ugh. Ugh. And... ugh!

So as you can see, volume two has brought out a range of unexpected emotions in me! I can honestly say that at this point, the only people I like of the Dashwood sisters' acquaintance are Colonel Brandon, Sir John and Mrs Jennings. The latter can be a bit of a butt-in-ski at the worst of times, but she always means well. The rest of them are just selfish, rude, arrogant and completely ignorant.

Now I don't know about you guys, but I love this book so much! It's ranking near Pride and Prejudice in my mind right now. Just amazing. How have you found volume two?