This was my second Jane Austen
book and the first in quite a while. So my opinion of Austen might be super uninteresting to the well-read fans. I liked this book. I thought it was cool that Austen would have such fun parodying Ann Radcliffe
's The Mysteries of Udolpho
as well as Gothic horror literature in general. I haven't read Udolpho
but am familiar with the basic conventions of the Gothic tale and I think Austen succeeded tremendously in her parody of those conventions. I have heard a few people say Catherine's character bugged them because she isn't the traditionally witty, strong-willed Austen heroine - an accurate description, I think. That might not fly for most Austen novels, but is perfect for Gothic heroines. I also thought John Thorpe was a real nuisance, but always super entertaining to read about - he manages to cause all sorts of difficulty. But it seems to me that Austen really likes her characters and treats them well, even when they do stupid things. She's just a good writer. Glad I read this.