Review: Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

northangerabbeyI’m going to start this review off by stating the fact that I am still yet to be completely enamoured by Austen. Anyone who has followed this blog for any period of time, or knows me in any way, will know that I’m not really a fan of Austen and it’s not that I don’t try, because I have many times, it’s that I just don’t feel that attraction to her writing that many others do. However, just over a year ago I promised myself that I would continue to persevere and at least complete her works even if I didn’t enjoy them to the full extent.

On the whole, though, I still find Austen’s writing dull. I just don’t seem to connect. While this book is short, I found it quite difficult to wade through. I didn’t find that her writing flowed all that much and, for my liking, there was too much dialogue. However, I do think I appreciated some of that humour in her writing that people go on about which, until now, I hadn’t seen.

I will say though, I enjoyed the characters in this and when I got in to it, the plot was pretty good too. Catherine Morland, our 17 year old protagonist, is an optimistic young girl who is a little naive and easily manipulated. She’s quite lovely, really. As with any Austen novel, there is romance and I have to say Mr Henry Tilney is one of the better Austen men, he seems to at least be cut from a slightly different cloth and have some features that make him stand out in my against other literary men! The other characters aren’t so bad either; we have the Thorpe’s – John and Isabella – who are both pretty odious. John is a hideous male who I loathed from his first appearance on my page and then Isabella, who starts out as a lovely girl who we slowly see is not as nice as she appears to be, which actually makes her more interesting!

I’m still to be fully convinced by Austen but at least I can say I am trying! I can’t see myself rereading Austen as I can the Brontë sisters work. I know that isn’t a fair comparison but it is as simple as I find that the Brontë’s work is compelling, it’s memorable, it’s a story I want to read again. This, while sweet, is not any of those things really; which ultimately gives it a 3/5 for me.

5 thoughts on “Review: Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

  1. Really interesting, I’ve been thinking about reading the classics seeing as everyone raves about them, so it’s refreshing to hear a review like this!

  2. I’ve noticed that when it comes to people who dislike Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey tends to be the book that they enjoy the most? So this might be your high point with her! Not that I want to put you off (i’m pretty sure you’re aware of my love love love for Jane Austen she is my angel <333) but just a warning haha! But who knows? Maybe you'll change your mind or fall in love with one of her books one day!
    I've only read Northanger Abbey once, years agoo, so I've forgotten a lot of it. I'm super excited about getting around to re-reading it.

    • Well I loved Persuasion when I read it many years ago. I really want to reread it soon. I think it might be the next Austen I go for actually =) Not sure when it will be though! I just find Austen this insurmountable hump in my reading life =(

      • Oh yeah, I can see why you’d enjoy that (I mean, it’s one of my favourites), especially if you’re not a fan of her humour. Because Persuasion definitely isn’t one of her comedies! Also if you haven’t seen the adaptation with Rupert Penry-Jones I highly recommend it. Like,,, really watch it.

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