'Northanger Abbey' is the story of the young and naive Catherine Morland and her venture into the complexities of adult social life. It takes a tongue-in-cheek view of a girl's ideas of romance and adventure formed by reading Gothic novels, and how, with a series of very entertaining episodes that result in anti-climaxes, Catherine realises that real life is different from fiction.
In constrast with her other novels, Jane Austen's humour is rendered more in the narration than in dialogue. The strength of this novel lies in its simplicity and in its very believable characters. Catherine is not as beautiful, witty or talented as Austen's more popular heriones - Emma or Elizabeth Bennett - but she is extremely likeable. Her simplicity touches a chord and my heart went out to her whenever she was in distress, either in handling her uncouth suitor John Thorpe or being taken for a ride by her 'friend' Isabelle, or when General Tilney abruptly asks her to leave their home, Northanger Abbey.
I was so intrigued by the way the book 'The Mysteries Of Udolpho' had influenced Catherine, that I picked it up to read to know what was in it. Would recommend that book too!
'Northanger Abbey' was a very pleasant book to read; I enjoyed it immensely.