Oh where would our literary brains be without Jane Austen? I’ve somehow only read two Jane Austen novels, this one and Pride and Prejudice (planning to re-read that one). There are so many reasons why I love Jane Austen’s novels. For one, the way she writes is enjoyable and two her characters are so lively. I find myself wishing that some of them could be my friends!
Northanger Abbey was just too find to put down. It follows the life of 17 year old Catherine. Her family sends her away for some time with family friends to Bath. Here we not only learn the personality of Catherine and how her neighbors are there to help her but we see the vivid depiction of Bath, England (also on my trip to England next year– specifically because of this book). You also get an idea of how girl friends acted around each other during that time period, how females acted around men/flirting etc. For Catherine, all of this is new, she’s never been to Bath, she’s never had a girl friend like Isabella before either, never had friends or been to a play or had someone who was interested in her (while she was not interested in him).
While she’s having all of these experiences, she also meets a Mr. Henry Tilney another new experience for our young heroine….a crush. A crush that has far more money than her family does and a far better position. Something that during that time period would be frowned upon. I love this story line though, Catherine is the kind of character you want all characters to be. She wasn’t afraid to let Mr. Tilney or anyone else know that she likes Mr. Tilney and that she wants more from him than friendship alone. I love this because for that time period this wasn’t usually the case, women were told to flirt but to not be so forthright with their feelings. Catherine was the opposite and it makes me wonder what Jane Austen was like during her time and of course makes me want to read more novels by her.
PS- If you click on the picture of the book, you will get a description (photo cred) from Barnes&Noble.