Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sense, Sensibility, and Sleuthing

This week's question (a special for Valentine's Week): Is there a classic love story you'd like to improve with a nice messy murder?

There sure is. Sense and Sensibility almost held my interest. I liked Jane Austen's observations about human nature, social status and money. I think she had an interesting premise and characters with a lot of potential.

But the book dragged for me. There was too much talking about the situation and not enough situation. The characters didn't convince me that they lived in three dimensions. When I set the story down, I wasn't keen to pick it up again.

Imagine the same love stories, the same social commentary, but with a murder near the beginning. Imagine the love interests as suspects, the Dashwood sisters as amateur sleuths. The love stories would come to a climax just as the murderer was revealed. I think that would give Sense and Sensibility just the right amount of spice to be up there in a league with Austen's later works.

And it was Austen's first novel, so I mean, props to her for it being a classic despite its boringness to me.


Meredith Cole said...

Pride and Prejudice is definitely my favorite Austen novel--but I definitely reread the others regularly and wish she'd had a chance to write more... Who knows? She might have developed into a mystery novelist in her later years!

Susan C Shea said...

For me, Austen has the amazing ability to sustain romantic suspense. I mean, I've read her novels dozens of times (yes, I'm a fan) and I still fret about whether or not the misunderstandings and mistimed communications will be resolved! Who in S&S would you kill Robin? How about Eleanor's half-brother, the one who let himself be talked out of fulfilling his father's dying wish? LOL!

Lisa Alber said...

The Dashwood sisters as amateur sleuths -- I love it!