Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Northanger Abbey // book review

Northanger Abbey
by Jane Austen

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland is a typical girl in Bath, England. She is obsessed with dress, dancing, and reading “horrid sensational novels.” Her trip to Bath is her first time away from home, and she is introduced to a whole new world. While there she meets the “sweetest creature,” and becomes “dear friends” with Isabelle Thorpe, and her family, intimate friends of her brother. She also meets Mr. Henry Tilney, and finds him to be the man of her dreams.
          But is Isabelle all sweetness as she seems? Will Catherine ever consider John Thorpe a suitor?
          The Tilney’s invite Catherine to visit them at their beautiful estate, Northanger Abbey. Catherine is delighted, especially because it means more time to spend with Henry. But the novels that she has filled her head with come back to haunt her in the dark Abbey and she begins to suspect secrets and crime behind every corner and shadow. When she begins to suspect General Tilney of his wife’s death, she feels it necessary to see the dead lady’s rooms.
          Her suspicions lead her on further into her fancies; until she finally embarrass herself greatly in front of Henry, and finds that they are completely ill-founded, and wrong.
          But then, a few weeks later, even though Henry was the only person who knew of her silly fancies, she is thrown out of the house with no respect and kindness, and no one but General Tilney understands the reason.
          What could she have done to offend the General? Can Henry forget about her foolish suspicions? Could he ever love her?

I began Northanger Abbey with the highest expectations. I had heard/read so many positive reviews, and have read most of Jane Austen’s other work, and I presumed that this book would be excellent. I wasn't disappointed with the quality of the story, well-developed characters, and a captivating story-line. I was surprised, however, with how different Northanger Abbey is from the rest of her books. Catherine Morland was a sweet, inexperienced, and loving girl, but quite different from, say, Elisabeth Bennett  or Emma Woodhouse. The first difference major difference I noticed was the fact that Catherine isn't perfect, witty and all charm, like the other girls. She is obsessed with dress, dancing and reading “horrid novels.” She has a very overactive imagination, which gets her into quite a bit of trouble, bringing her much embarrassment. Another difference I noticed was that Henry Tilney wasn't developed and portrayed as much as Darcy, etc. I felt that he could have been more involved in the story, and his character explained more fully. 
          Northanger Abbey had several interesting plot-twists, as well as interesting and ‘different’ characters. (John Thorpe? :) I fell utterly in love with Eleanor Tilney. She was a perfect sister, so sweet, kind and gentle, and I was thrilled with the way the story ended for her. My only wish, again, is that she had played a bigger part in the story, and that Ms. Austen had etched her character and details more fully.
          All in all, Northanger Abbey was a delightful, enjoyable, fresh and charming story, and one that I will be adding to my own library as soon as possible. :)

********* {9 out of 10 stars}


  1. Didn't you just LOVE it? Agh, it's so good. . . .

    1. it was amazing!!!!! I absolutely fell in love with each and every one of the characters. (except maybe John Thorpe. ;) and the whole story was innocent and sweet.

    2. You know, it's been so long since I read it that I can hardly remember what John Thorpe was like in the book, but I always think of him as he is in the movie and he's just yucky in there, so. . . . :)

    3. Yah, he is pretty yucky, and slimy and revolting, but in a funny way. Or, at least that is how he was in my mind. :) I was squirming ever time they talked about him, but I thought him immensely amusing at the same time. :)


I read and appreciate every comment. :)