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Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

***I read this title as part of the February Bucket List.***

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While completed early in her career, Northanger Abbey wasn’t published until after Jane Austen’s death. It is by far the shortest of the Austen novels I’ve read but I loved it. Miss Austen wrote this title as a satire of gothic novels which were very popular in the late Georgian and early Regency periods.

The story follows the coming of age of Catherine Morland who, upon a trip to Bath, comes face to face with all of the expected challenges and adventures that should befall a young woman in such a novel, which Jane herself pokes fun at throughout. Catherine gets to meet a cad, have a romantic outing, dance with a mysterious stranger at a ball, attend the theatre and meet with all the horrors an old mansion could possibly provide. All of this, of course, occurs while she learns many great life lessons and falls immovably in love.

My only complaint about this novel is that it could have been fleshed out more. I think had Austen lived she might have expanded upon her story because it is very succinct compared to her other novels and there is evidence that she had done some more editing right before her death. I would have loved for the ending to have had more details because it is such a pivotal moment in the story. It felt a little rushed but regardless of that I loved the story and the characters which is why I wish it was longer.

Also, might I add that I love Mr. Darcy and find him to be a wonderful leading man but Mr. Tilney definitely gives him a run for his money. Once again, I would love to have “seen” more of him. When he uttered the line, “Now I must give one smirk and then we may be rational again” I fell in love.

Like most of Austen’s works, this has been adapted for screen several times but I haven’t seen any of them though I know some are on Amazon Prime so I may have to check them out.

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