How Now, Bookworms?
It’s been a little while since our last installment of The Fellowship of the Worms, so it’s about time for another selection, methinks. I was talking to one of my favorite Bookworms (hi Ashley Z!) on Facebook about this month’s book choice, and she mentioned she had a hankering for a classic. I’ve been meaning to read some more Jane Austen for a while now, so it seemed like a serendipitous opportunity. I’ve chosen Northanger Abbey! (Cue applause.)
I have a road trip I’m planning to make in May so I’m considering listening to the audio version on the long drive. I don’t typically listen to audio books except in the case of a road trip, so it’ll be an adventure. Here’s the synopsis via Goodreads:
A wonderfully entertaining coming-of-age story, Northanger Abbey is often referred to as Jane Austen’s “Gothic parody.” Decrepit castles, locked rooms, mysterious chests, cryptic notes, and tyrannical fathers give the story an uncanny air, but one with a decidedly satirical twist.
The story’s unlikely heroine is Catherine Morland, a remarkably innocent seventeen-year-old woman from a country parsonage. While spending a few weeks in Bath with a family friend, Catherine meets and falls in love with Henry Tilney, who invites her to visit his family estate, Northanger Abbey. Once there, Catherine, a great reader of Gothic thrillers, lets the shadowy atmosphere of the old mansion fill her mind with terrible suspicions. What is the mystery surrounding the death of Henry’s mother? Is the family concealing a terrible secret within the elegant rooms of the Abbey? Can she trust Henry, or is he part of an evil conspiracy? Catherine finds dreadful portents in the most prosaic events, until Henry persuades her to see the peril in confusing life with art.
Executed with high-spirited gusto, Northanger Abbey is the most lighthearted of Jane Austen’s novels, yet at its core this delightful novel is a serious, unsentimental commentary on love and marriage.
I’ve heard that this book is one of Austen’s cheekier novels, so I’m looking forward to it. An exciting perk of choosing this book is that you can download a Kindle version for FREE. That’s zero dollars and zero cents, and there should be copies-a-plenty at your local library. I will be posting discussion questions and my thoughts on May 30. As always, I will be relying on your participation to make me feel less alone in the universe. If you’d like to join in the discussion (please, oh please?) you can leave comments on the post, answer the questions I pose in a blog post of your own, or simply link up a review you’ve written of Northanger Abbey.
Group reading really is the best way to do the classics, don’t you think? Who’s with me?