Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen


My only disappointment in finishing this book is that it marks the end of my project to read all six of Jane Austen's completed novels. I have no more Jane Austen books to look forward to!

This one reads more like a young adult novel, and in some ways it is a coming-of-age story. Catherine Morland is young and naive, but we see her grow and mature as she navigates new friendships and learns from her mistakes. While Catherine's relationship with Isabella is deftly crafted, perhaps her friendship with Eleanor Tilney could have been elaborated upon a bit more. Henry fits the bill perfectly as the object of desire, and his speech on the over-use of the word "nice" is exactly as I have always thought myself!

Without having read any of the Gothic romance novels of which this book is a satire, it's easy to imagine what those books must be like. For the first time in a Jane Austen novel, however, I found myself losing interest as the author expounded upon a topic - in this case, some aspect of Gothic romance novels. But since even those accounts lasted only a mere paragraph or so, they weren't so much a detraction.

As usual, the story is tied up rather nicely, and quickly, in the last few pages. And I don't care what anyone says - I love Jane Austen's "happily ever after" endings!

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