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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Review: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Format: Hardcover
Publish Date: 1817
Source: Owned

What's the Story?:

From "The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.

Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen’s novels, yet at its core this delightful novel is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage."

My Two Cents:

Slowly but surely I'm making my way through Jane Austen's books. "Northanger Abbey" is one of Austen's novels that was written earlier but published later. It is a satire of the gothic novel, a genre which I thoroughly enjoy. While I enjoyed this book, it is definitely not my favorite Austen novel. This book is definitely still worth a read though.

There is a lot to like about Catherine Morland. She seems sweet and she loves to read (ahem, I love books about other readers). I like that she also has a big imagination, which really sets the action of the book into motion. I like that her imagination just totally takes over because of all of the books that she reads, mostly gothic novels.

I didn't find the book as funny or sharp as I found some of Austen's other books. You can see some of the talent that Austen eventually grew into but this book is only just beginning. I do admit that reading this book after reading some of Austen's other books has affected my review a little bit but I can't get away from it. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed this book for the characters, especially Catherine.


1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this one more than you did, but I also found it hilarious in spots. It's definitely not Austen's best, though.


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