Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Northanger Abbey~Jane Austen | Review

Title: Northanger Abbey and the History of England
Author: Jane Austen
Genre: British Classics
Length: 9.5 hours audio
Release: February 2017 (first published 1817)

I received an audio copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Northanger Abbey is one of those books that I was unsure of reading. It tends to be one of Austen's more overlooked novels and I think I heard some negative comments. That put me off reading it for a long time, which may have been a good thing. By the time I read it, I was ready to read it with an open mind. And I loved it.

This audiobook was the second time through the book for me, the first time being several years ago. While Austen's writing improved as she wrote, this is an excellent book. Catherine Morland, our heroine, is every bit the over imaginative fangirl, letting her love of Gothic novels carry her away. She's young and out in society for the first time, learning and growing as her imagination runs wild.

Henry Tilney is probably my favorite of all of Austen's male leads. He's flirty, talkative, intelligent, and just plain fun. He was voiced really well in this audio and I think I fell a little more in love with him. The relationship between him and Catherine is really nice and different to most of Austen's other romantic entanglements since Catherine was so attached to Henry from the beginning. And he was rather fond of her as well, which made it even better. There was no dislike between them, former lovers hanging on, or other love interests getting in the way. And it was perfect.

Catherine's character progression from beginning to end is wonderful. She starts out young and naive and, though not completely changed by the end (which is a good thing), she has learned that not everything or everyone is always what it seems. She always believes the best of people and this positive outlook stays with her--with a hint of caution now in the mix.

The Thorpe family, Isabella and John specifically, irritate me so much. It really shows how innocent Catherine and James are, not to be able to spot the issues early in their relationships with this family.

Northanger Abbey is full of Austen's charm and wit that makes her later novels so loved. And it might possibly be my favorite of the bunch. 

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