Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

This is a 3 1/2 star reading. Now I love Jane Austen, but this first complete book that Ms. Austen wrote is not her best. I found some passages, especially in the beginning, to be long-winded and many times I put the book down and was reluctant to pick it up. This book would be much better if you read The Mysteries of Udolpho or other Gothic books first, since there are numerous references to these books.

Catharine Morland is a young, naive girl who takes her first trip to Bath. There she becomes friends with a family that is entirely unsuitable. They are money-hungry and hypocritical. Nothing they say can be believed, but Catharine is too innocent to see this. Somehow a rumor starts that Catharine comes from a wealthy family, so she is the recipient of a young man who comes courting. Catharine doesn't like him, but she is too impolite to be rude to him. She is unaware of his motivation and his marital plans. Catharine does meet the Tilneys. Henry catches her eye and they gradually become close. Henry's father shows up in Bath and he hears that Catharine is wealthy. Noting that she likes his son, he invites Catharine to his home at Northanger Abbey.

Catharine, who spends her spare time reading Gothic literature, imagines that the abbey will be like the castles and abbeys described in Gothic literature. Her explorations and discoveries lead to hilarity. She determines that Henry's father murdered his wife. When Henry discovers this, he is horrified and tells Catharine that she is mistaken. It seems that Catharine has misread all clues and misunderstood conversations. Then real life intrudes and she is blindsided by a real life tragedy.

The second half of the book was much better than the first part. So, if you find difficulty reading the book in the beginning, be patient. It does get better.

Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages