Northanger Abbey might be my new favourite book by Jane Austen. I loved it. I loved the style of it. There was something cheeky in the narrator's tone that I really connected with. I loved Catharine Morland. I loved her innocence and ignorance. Can we attribute it all to age? To the fact that she was not well traveled? There were times I wanted to yell at Catharine, to ask her why she didn't see what was so obvious to us.
The characters are really what made this story. The story is pretty typical of a Jane Austen novel. There's a young woman, she meets a man. Stuff happens. They get married. There's always a good man, an ideal perhaps, then a bad man, who might be just a bit bad, but who could maybe be awful. There is often a friend/sister. There's a bad girl. There's a conflict between money and love. Nothing happened in Northanger Abbey that I didn't expect.
What had me riveted, what had me coming back, was Catharine and the rest of the characters. Listening to the characters speak, but then hearing how Catharine interpreted their words and actions was a good kind of frustrating. Isabella was exactly who I that she would be. Her brother was more sneaky than I thought after what he said to the general, but I was not surprised. Henry was every good part of Austen's heroes. Eleanor was perfect. Catharine Morland was jsut the right heroine for my mood. I loved how everything surprised her, even something simple, like a chest in her room.
Sense and Sensibility used to be my favourite Austen. I might have to reread it since Northanger Abbey has knocked it off its throne. I know Northanger Abbey isn't the most popular of Austen's novel, but I think anyone who has enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Emma, should not hesitate to read Austen's first novel as well.