On Giants' Shoulders

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Good Old Book

I mentioned in my previous post that one of the books was currently reading is Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen. I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying it and have put it on my list for my lit girls. It has captured me much more quickly than Pride and Prejudice and I hope it will do the same for them. It is Miss Austen at her wittiest and most satirical. I already have a character that I loathe and one that I'm sort of put off by. The heroine is not the snappy witted Elizabeth Bennett, but she has a stubborn streak that hopefully will serve her well through the whole story (I've only just finished book 1). Miss Austen's defense of novel alone makes picking up the book worthwhile. While the women in the story seem naive and some of them even empty headed at times, at least one of the supposedly intelligent men seems, well just boorish.

What is so timeless about Austen is her characterizations. Even though customs have changed some of the ways that people behave has remained very much the same. I can pick out girls like Isabella and men like John Thorpe both among the young people I know now and the ones that I knew thirty something years ago. I have even put a face to them pretty much based on characters I've known. I spent much of book one waiting for Catherine to give Thorpe his "walking papers," but she hasn't quite done it yet, although she has stood up to him at least once.

Anyway it's a book that is engaging me on a level I didn't really expect. If you're looking for something that's entertaining and wholesome give it a try.


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