Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
Author: Jane Austen
Published: 2003 (1818)
Challenges: The Classics Club, OfftheShelf, Embarrassment of Riches
Genre: Classics, Gothic, Literature
Source: Personal Library
Description: Catherine Morland, an unremarkable tomboy as a child, is thrown amongst all the 'difficulties and dangers' of Bath at the ripe age of seventeen. Armed with an unworldly charm and a vivid imagination, she must overcome the caprices of elegant society, encountering along the way such characters as the vacuous Mrs Allen, coquettish Isabella and the brash bully John Thorpe. Catherine's invitation to Northanger Abbey, in her eyes a haven of coffins, skeletons and other Gothic devices, does lead to an adventure, though one she didn't expect, and her misjudgement of the ambitious, somewhat villainous General Tilney is not wholly unjustified. However, with the aid of the 'unromantic' hero Henry Tilney, Catherine gradually progresses towards maturity and self-knowledge. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: Maybe it was due to the fact that I had read Sense & Sensibility not long before reading this one and the fact that I really I enjoyed that particular book or that I hit a reading funk just as I started the book, I don't know, but I just couldn't get into this particular Austen. It kinda felt like it was an early book of hers (which upon further research it was actually one of the first that she completed) and probably therefore needs a re-read of the book before I make an overall judgment of the book (I have a bookclub meeting this coming spring that is focused on the book). But in a way I can see the formula for her later and more beloved books being started. That being said, it wasn't exactly my favourite and hence I struggled with the book, as it seemed choppy at times and her thoughts and concepts didn't feel as though they were coming from somebody like Jane Austen. It was an enjoyable read and I will give it a re-read to formulate a more well-rounded opinion of the book.
Bottom line: Like Mansfield Park and Persuasion, I would recommend the book to those that are more familiar with Jane Austen rather than those that aren't as familiar with her work. Recommended.
Pages for 2013: 16,763