“Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen— Book Review

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About The Book (On Back of Book):
 
  “A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.
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 Review:

Jane Austen is probably one of the world’s most loved authors despite her books being centuries old. I personally liked some of the film adaptions of her books, but it wasn’t until years later that I finally got around to one of her books. The book, “Northanger Abbey,” is one that I’ve owned for years, had tried to read, but did not get far into it before I set it aside and put it in the “someday” space on my TBR list. Now, not only am I here to inform you that I have read this book, but also that I really enjoyed it!  Truly, now I have a better understanding of all the hype Miss Austen’s books have. Her characters were so real, even relate-able despite that they were written by an author who was born way before my time. Plus, I get this feeling that Miss Austen was a sarcastic type, which made her work even more enjoyable to me.

  I really liked both the heroine and hero of the book, Catherine Morland and Mr. Henry Tilney. Catherine is just the sort of young lady who I can easily relate to. She likes to read novels, discussing what she reads, and sees herself as a heroine in a book. Which, technically speaking, she is a book heroine, but she’s not supposed to know that and therefore the lessons she learns in her story are humorously burning to a reader like myself. Especially when I watched Catherine learn how to separate real life with the stuff in novels.

  And then there’s Mr. Tilney. I liked him very much, especially his first conversation with Catherine (*smirk*). I cannot compare him to Austen’s other heroes (unless I used film adaptions, and I fear that would be frowned upon…), so I’ll sum up his as a charmingly steady hero. He isn’t exactly dashingly romantic. Aside from a good sense of humor, he’s somewhat average. Yet, not too average, as he is also a forgiving sort and does like a novel. I suppose it is safe to say that why he comes off as less dashing than other heroes is because he seems more realistic than some heroes in books. Which is good, because I think more books need average heroes.

  The book also deals with the trials one can go through by befriending the wrong sorts. This was particularly interesting to me, because one of the “friend” relationships Catherine has in this story was much like ones I have had. To think that people still act the same way these days… it’s scary, dear readers.

  To sum this review up, I will say that “Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen is an overall delightful tale that I’m glad I finally read. It wasn’t perfect-sometimes it was a tad slow, and some use of God’s name I did care for- but overall I liked it enough to give it a rating of four and a half. And I do plan to read more by Miss Austen now. In fact, I might already have purchased all of her finished novels…

Also, I really liked the B&N classic Edition because it would have little notes to explain words I did not know much about due to their lack of use in most modern day conversations and books.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

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2 thoughts on ““Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen— Book Review

  1. YES! I finally read this for the first time just a few years ago, and wow, I like it soooooo much. In fact, it’s one of my top 3 of her novels (the others being Persuasion and P&P). It might not be as deep or polished as her later works, but it’s just got such a fun, joyous spirit to it, like a story you’d tell your friends to make them laugh. Love it.

    1. I still need to start reading her other novels. I liked this one so much that I like the idea that it might not be as good as her others. That means I have more to look forward to. 😀

      Btw, it is lovely that you stopped by, Rachel.

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