Author: Jane Austen
Genre: Classic, romance
Publisher: Penguin Books
Released: December 1817
The most youthful and optimistic of Jane Austen's novels, Northanger Abbey tells the story of naive, charming Catherine Morland, who is obsessed with reading Gothic romance and horror. When Catherine is invited to stay at her new friend's grand house, Northanger Abbey, with its mysterious suite of sealed-off rooms, her melodramatic imagination threatens to run away with her. As comic misunderstandings ensue, she comes to understand the gap between fantasy and reality, false friends and true feelings.
My first experience with the writing of Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey was a fun and interesting read that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Invited to spend six weeks in Bath, Catherine Morland spends her days in the tea rooms and her evenings at the theatre or dances. She is soon introduced to Henry Tilney, who she instantly fancies. She also meets Isabella Thorpe and her brother John, who just happen to be best friends with Catherine's brother James. Excited to have a new friend in her life, Catherine and Isabella become inseparable. Despite her affections for both Henry Tilney and Isabella Thorpe, she is constantly displeased by the presence of John Thorpe, who has become infatuated with her. Luckily for Catherine, she becomes acquainted with Henry' sister Eleanor, and after a few weeks of friendship, she is invited to join them at their house Northanger Abbey. The house is everything Catherine had imagined, and soon her imagination runs wild, as she fantasies about events that have taken place in the books she's read.
I'm very happy and surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I haven't delved into many classics yet, and as I stated above, this is my first Jane Austen novel, so I was unsure as to whether I would be able to get into it and enjoy it. A lot of people don't say this, but I'm so glad I had to read this for university, because I don't think I would have gotten around to it anytime soon, and I wouldn't know what I was missing.
This was such a fun read. Despite being a somewhat Gothic romance, there is a lot of humour underneath it all. Catherine's naivety and dramatic nature made her an intriguing character to follow, and her actions (and the consequences of these actions) were interesting.
I admit, I did find some faults with this story. The main issue I had was that, despite this book being so aptly named 'Northanger Abbey,' and the synopsis stating that Catherine would be having a wild adventure there, probably only around a quarter of the book actually at Northanger. Her time at Northanger was actually quite boring, compared to what I had expected, and I much preferred her time in Bath. Nevertheless, it was still an enjoyable read, even though it wasn't truly what I had expected from the book.
Overall, I really enjoyed by first taste of Jane Austen. For a classic, this book was easy to get into and follow, and it was a nice light and funny read. I feel like this would be a great book for anyone wanting to get into classics, because apart from being an easy read, it's also relatively short compared to a lot of other classics.