Hi there! I just finished reading Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. This is the third novel I read by this author, and unlike the previous two (which were Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion) this one was remarkably different. I’m guessing it’s because it was her first written novel, although it was published post mortem. Perhaps Jane Austen hadn’t defined her style completely yet. I thought it was a bit odd that from time to time, the author would directly address the reader. From those extracts throughout the novel, you can easily infer that Austen was a strongly opinionated woman. Of course, the romantic theme still prevailed.
The main character is Catherine Morland, a 17 year old girl from Fullerton who gets invited by the Allens (friends of her family) to spend a month in Bath. Unlike Elizabeth Bennet and Anne Elliot, she’s younger and naive. Catherine does not easily perceive a person’s intention, whether those intentions are good or bad. She genuinely believes what others tell her and only comes to a realization towards the end of the novel. And indeed, there is a boy, who she coincidently meets in Bath. His name is Henry Tinley, a 26 year old clergyman from a wealthy family. He has read gothic novels, which are Catherine’s favorite, so they have plenty to discuss.
Catherine becomes close friends with Henry’s younger sister, Eleanor. Their friendship extends to the point the she gets invited to spend a few weeks at Northanger Abbey, the home of the Tinleys. Here is where the satire of gothic novels begins, Catherine’s imagination starts growing a little bit wild thanks to the stories she has read. But what is truly important in this part, is that she and Henry get to know each other better. Consequently, their emotions for one another begin to increase mutually. But will they be able to have their happily ever after?
As I have mentioned before, I don’t like to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet. And as usual, I do recommend Jane Austen’s novels, it’s impossible not to. Overall rating: 4/5.