Saturday, December 30, 2006

Northanger Abbey

I enjoyed Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen a good bit. The book jacket described it as "the most joyous of Jane Austen's novels," so I looked forward to a light and encouraging read. That is pretty much how I would describe it. I wanted to read something by Jane Austen, because I wasn't sure I ever had. I may have read Pride and Prejudice in school, and I know I've seen the movie, and the movie of Emma as well.

Jane Austen was able to draw me into her characters, even with a somewhat detached third-person sort of story-telling. She begins the story about Catherine, the unlikely heroine, and periodically inserts her narrator's voice in this way throughout the story. However, in spite of this, I found myself saying, almost out loud at times, "How dare you do that! Leave her alone! Stop lying!" or something along those lines. It also made me long for the genteel life of a young English woman, with nothing more to do than read and discuss novels, take strolls, and enjoy elaborate meals, in between dances and other social events.

I wanted to dip into the Jane Austen well. I did, and I will do so again soon.

This review is linked to Semicolon's Saturday Review of Books.


Susanne said...

What a coincidence. I was looking at all the Jane Austen books at Chapters today as I was trying to make the big decision on which book I should get with my gift certificate. I haven't read any of her books but will check some out at the library now.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Barb said...

I lose myself in the time period when I read Jane Austen. She's wonderful. I'm glad you discovered her novels - not one of them will disappoint you.

Happy New Year to you and your family, Jennifer. What a pleasure meeting you has been.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm here from Semicolon.
I read all of Jane Austen's novels this past year for the first time, even though I am intimately acquainted with 4 of her stories as movies. I loved them. I actually liked NA the least of all of them though. :)
I highly recommend them all, even though you have seen some of the movies. It actually helps the books to make sense-at least it greatly helped me.
Hmm...let's see....which one was my favorite....
It seemed like each one was better than the last.
I guess if I HAD to choose one it would be Emma.
I hope you read more of them-I had a great year with Jane. This coming year it will be L.M. Montgomery!
Joanna in Ca. :)

Kelly said...

Thanks for the review. This is one of the few Austen books I have not read--so it is going on my list for 2007.

Beck said...

Northanger Abbey IS a very fun book. Reading it made me read some of the "gothic" novels that Catherine had been reading, the ones that had turned her head so much (although she wasn't far wrong in suspecting the father!) - The Mysteries of Udolpho is spooky! Spookily long!

Linda said...

I recently read my first Jane Austen book, too. I chose P&P. As someone recommended, I would also suggest reading the book even if you've already seen the movie.

I plan to read more Austen books in 2007. Emma is next.