Brandi's Reviews > Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
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's review
Feb 16, 16

it was ok
bookshelves: i-heart-gutenberg, on-a-dark-and-stormy-night, classic-roast-coffee
Read from August 06 to 07, 2011

This is my first time reading anything by Jane Austen, and I have to admit, I wish I'd started with Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility.

I liked this novel enough. The first encounter between Catharine and Henry was very fun to read, and I appreciated Austen's digressions about novels and the role of women.

However, this novel wasn't quite what I expected. I had hoped there would be some dangerous event, after all the allusions to The Mysteries of Udolpho. It was disappointing to reach the end without encountering any action at all, coming from a reputedly Gothic novel.

The romance didn't live up to my expectations, either. Firstly, Henry wasn't a very believable character; I doubt that, even then, there were many guys who would read novels in their spare time (especially written by women) or dance in a ballroom when they could join a game of billiards. (And one of those few just happened to fall in love with the main character?)

I also found his relationship with Catharine questionable. Isn't it a little too coincidental that she fell in love with the first person she talked to? And then, as their relationship developed, all they did was flirt - if they were alone. Around other people, Henry delved into abstract conversations that Catharine didn't understand and therefore often ignored. Even when she understood him perfectly, she disagreed with many of his ideas.

But for the novel's shortcomings, I liked Austen's style of writing and her plot development. And as I said before, I probably should have read one of her other novels first. That might have given me better insight into her popularity. As it is, I'm not convinced that she was a better writer than many others I've read.

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Reading Progress

08/06/2011 page 39
16.0% "Just reached Chapter 8. This is my first time reading Jane Austen, and I'm surprised how fun it is. And also a little mysterious..."
08/06/2011 page 79
31.0% "Finished (and enjoyed) Chapter 11. Now onto 12..."
08/06/2011 page 127
51.0% "On to chapter eighteen..."
08/06/2011 page 164
65.0% "The abbey's very beautiful, if not a little quaint."

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