Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey
 Jane Austen

Catherine Morland is perfectly ordinary. When she gets the chance to spend a few months in Bath with family friends Mr. and Mrs Allen she jumps at the opportunity. There she meets Isabella Thorpe and her brother John. While John pursues Catherine,  her real interest is in the well read Henry Tilney. When she is invited by Henry and his sister to stay with them at Northanger Abbey Catherine is forced to learn that Gothic novels may not be as true to life as she thought.

Northanger Abbey was my second TBR Jar read of the year. It was definitely a slower read than I had hoped. I love Jane Austen, or at least the idea of Jane Austen. I'm a big fan of Pride and Prejudice but her other works so far have left me less than impressed. Northager Abbey didn't really change my mind. I liked Catherine just fine, bookish main characters tend to get a pass here at Loving Books (shocking, I know) but thinking back that's the only thing I remember about her. Even Henry Tilney, who is quite charming, doesn't really leave a lasting impression.

I did appreciate the tongue and cheek attitude towards Gothic lit, though. Northanger Abbey isn't like Austen's other books, at least not entirely. There's a bit of satire here, it's not huge, but it's enough to make it's point. Jane Austen isn't writing those bleak and dreary novels set in old castles and abbeys with ghosts and ghouls and things that make innocent girls blanch. If anything that's what makes Abbey worth reading, the historic context is much more interesting than Catherine and her safe beau.

If nothing else I'm glad I can say I've officially read half of Austen's bibliography.

No comments: