Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

So it only took me approximately two and a half months to finish reading the book. I began reading on the 9th of April, immediately after I finished reading Emma while on a flight to Manila. That book I began reading near the beginning of this year, and between school and my ‘busy’ virtual life, it took me four months to read.

Anyway, Northanger Abbey is just a nice read. It’s quite funny, quite like Emma was, though I doubt Northanger Abbey was meant to be humorous. It was funny for me, anyhow. It was easy for me to laugh at Catherine’s antics, especially during her first night at the Abbey. She craves so much for drama in her life, and I can kind of relate to her in that sense. With my overactive imagination, I sometimes imagine what my life would be like if it were just like a novel. Of course, unlike Catherine, I know the difference between fact and fiction…

…I think. ;D

Near the beginning of this story, before Catherine stays at the Abbey with her friends the Tilneys, she mostly hung around with this girl she met in Bath named Isabella. My first reaction to reading that name was: “Wow, that’s the same as Emma Woodhouse‘s sister in Emma.” My second was: “Huh, I wonder if there’s an Edward character around.”

I do apologize for the Twilight reference. It’s the Twi-hard in me.

Isabella Thorpe is a very loquacious girl and she’s my least favorite characters. She has lots of lines in the books, and I found that trying to read them just made my head ache. She’s a piece of work — you can easily tell her fake attitude when she speaks, which I suppose was kind of indirect characterization. When the engagement broke up between her and Catherine’s brother, James, I sided with James. Just like Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, I don’t like Isabella Thorpe.

Well, actually… Here’s another Twilight reference. Isabella Thorpe reminds me of Jessica Stanley. She’s like a Jessica and a Lauren Mallory combined.

As for Catherine, her naïvety just irked me a little bit. I get that she’s the main character and everything, but still. (It’s been mentioned more than once in the story that she’s the “heroine”, though frankly I don’t understand this.) I just had to roll my eyes at some passages of the book when describing her theories and wishes to compare the Abbey and the people residing there to her mystery novels.

The romance in the story comes in the form of Mr. Tilney, and I find it very refreshing that he only liked Catherine because she liked him first. At least, that is how I understood it in this passage:

…his affection originated in nothing better than gratitude, or, in other words, that a persuasion of her partiality for him had been the only cause of giving her [Catherine] a serious thought.

Northanger Abbey is a worthwhile read. Or if you’re too lazy to read its intricate English, just watch the 1986 film. There’s the more recent 2007 TV drama. Fair warning though: I haven’t seen either of those adaptations, so I can’t guarantee that they’d be loyal to the book.

Have fun reading!

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