Monday, July 22, 2013

Book Review - Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey


Jane Austen

Category: Fiction: Classics

Date finished: 29 June 2013

Rating: ****½

This is only my third Jane Austen novel, so I’m halfway through her repertoire. There’s really no way to critique this novel. You’ll notice that I didn’t provide a plot synopsis above. Either you’ve read it, and you know the plot, or you’ve not read it and, in my opinion, the plot should be revealed to you as you read. I make it a point to not know what an Austen novel is about before beginning it. I like to savor the journey.

This is my big brother’s favorite Austen novel, so I put it next on my list. It’s not my favorite of her novels, though. I can’t imagine a book surpassing Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility. But I did enjoy this book of course. How could I not, it’s Austen.

What did I enjoy most? Other than Austen’s humor (I love when she talks directly to the reader), I enjoyed how this book evolved. Her books are about romance and mystery, and perhaps the mystery of romance; of fortune and good fortune; of pride and propriety. There’s always the ninny woman, the dull and boastful bore of a man. Characters and plots intertwine and come undone but all get tied in a big bow in the end. I love it all.

Some luminous quotes:

Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind, is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.

But now you love a hyacinth. So much the better. You have gained a new source of enjoyment, and it is well to have as many holds upon happiness as possible.

…If Wednesday should ever come!

It did come, and exactly when it might be reasonably looked for. It came – it was fine – and Catherine trod on air.

Would you recommend this to a friend?

You might also enjoy:
Austen’s other novels: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking up with the Fellowship of the Worms! I really enjoyed this novel- I felt like Austen played to my funny bone a bit more in this one than those I've read in the past. I also really, really wanted to punch John Thorpe, but that's just a side note. Being incensed by fictional characters is one of my favorite feelings :).