Author: Jane Austen
Summary: Northanger Abbey is a perfectly aimed literary parody that is also a wither satire of the commercial aspects of marriage among the English gentry at the turn of the nineteenth century But most of all, it is the story of the initiation into life of its naïve but sweetly appealing heroine, Catherine Moreland, a willing victim of the contemporary craze for Gothic literature who is determined to see herself as the heroine of a dark and thrilling romance. When she is invited to Northanger Abbey, the grand though forbidding ancestral seat of her suitor, Henry Tilney, she finds herself embroiled in a real drama of misapprehension, mistreatment, and mortification, until common sense and humor - and a crucial clarification of Catherine’s financial status - resolve her problems and win her the approval of Henry’s formidable father. Written in 1708, but not published until after Austen’s death in 1817, Northanger Abbey is characteristically clearheaded and strong and infinitely subtle in its comedy.
My Rating: 8/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: As always, Jane Austen’s writing is wonderful and elegant. The words flow off the pages, and I’m lured into her narrative. The story it self was also well done and shorter than her other works, if you haven’t read anything by her yet, I suggest starting here. I found this book to be a quicker read than her previous works and the story moved along a lot quicker than her other works I’ve read (or attempted to read, I’ll get through Mansfield Park one day!).
Catherine is an interesting character, and I enjoyed her love for the gothic literature, and was amused by her quest to find her own gothic adventure. This book also has an interesting take on the social class of the time the differences between them. It was a little more obvious than her other books (at least as far as I can remember). My one issue is, although Catherine had an interesting personality, her and the other characters didn’t strike me. They all had the same similar Austen qualities you find in all her books. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it is a repetitive theme I find throughout her books. This one’s pace moved along a lot faster, but I did feel there was suppose to be more to this story, that was never finished.
Overall, I enjoyed it, I love reading just Austen’s words, they alone always make for a good book, and I did find my self routing for the love affair between the characters to bloom.
Would I recommend it to read: Yes. This was well done, and compared to her other works, a lot easier to read - it doesn’t have a lot of slow parts, and is short for an Austen novel. A great choice for any classic fan.
What to read next: Since it mentioned it so much throughout the book, Ann Radcliffe would be a good start. Also, more Jane Austen if you enjoy her work.