Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor's warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love - and its threatened loss - the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.
I think after it's third reading this surpasses Pride and Prejudice as my favorite Austen novel. In the past I would have listed them P&P first, Emma second, S&S third and the last 3 are just sorta bunched up together (I do like them, but not like I like these 3) but now I actually think Sense and Sensibility jumps to number 1. These characters feel real, they would have no problem stepping out of the book into the real world. They would fit right in. It's full of betrayal, love children, affairs, second marriages, etc.... It has everything that we love to gossip about now! I am writing as though everyone knows this story already. If you don't you