Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Northanger Abbey tells the story of Catherine Morland, a naive young woman whose perceptions of the world around her are greatly influenced by the romantic gothic novels to which she is addicted. When she moves to Bath she sees mystery and intrigue all around her. This is one of Austen’s early works, a broad comedy about learning to distinguish between fiction and reality.
Catherine Morland’s naïveté is certainly grating which, although slightly annoying after awhile, conveys the finer points of the satire Austen set out to tell. I often found myself laughing out loud at the ridiculous thoughts and actions experienced by Catherine that seem so natural in other more serious gothic novels.
Isabella was such a horrible, fake personal and friend to Catherine. The decisions and positions that she put herself (and Catherine) into were absolutely hilarious even as you wanted to scream at Catherine to SEE WHAT SHE IS REALLY DOING.
Henry was the sassy kind of love interest that I typically enjoy, although at some points he was a little condescending to the female characters. However, it’s important to note that the love story isn’t the focus or purpose of the book.
The cast of characters all contributed to the book feeling to me a lot like a high school soap opera/drama. Because of this, I feel like I would have appreciated this book a lot more in high school than I did now. Northanger Abbey was also more realistic with the love story than other of Austen’s books, which while refreshing I thought was kind of sad (I really do love a good love story).
Overall I did enjoy this book, but Persuasion still remains my favorite by Austen. As of right now, I’d put this in my third favorite spot behind Pride and Prejudice.
What’s your favorite Austen book?