Saturday, March 5, 2016

Northanger Abbey Read-Along: Week 1

Just a head's up, but I have lots and lots of catch up posts that will be rolling through in the next week or so, Lord willing.

Today, though, is about the first 3 chapters of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. If you'd like to participate in the read along this month, check out Amber's introduction post at Seasons of Humility.


This week's discussion covers chapters 1-3.

Favorite Quote:

"As for admiration, it was always very welcome when it came, but she did not depend on it."

General Impressions:

I started reading Northanger Abbey a couple of weeks ago. I'd recently watched Austenland(yet again) and then read Midnight in Austenland, and that made me want to read some real Jane Austen. I guess I somewhat randomly picked Northanger Abbey, though Midnight in Austenland does mention this one. You may remember if you've been around here long that I greatly struggle with reading actual Jane Austen, though I love the time period and I WANT to love her writing. I truly feel like if I could get into the book long enough to not give up on it, I would fall in love with her writing and devour the other books. Then again, maybe it wasn't meant to be.

I'm not ready to give up just yet, though. I was already struggling, and then I saw this read-along. I felt the timing couldn't have been more perfect, and so I'm hoping a little extra encouragement will go a long way in this case. A chapter a day is very realistic! ;)

I had got to chapter 5, but decided to start my reading over, with my hopes even higher than they were the first time. Within only 3 chapters of rereading, I've already found parts that I missed the first time through. Apparently, I was spacing out while making my way through the words. So far, this time around, I'm enjoying my time in Northanger Abbey greatly, and I hope that continues!

Discussion Questions:

1. What do you find most endearing about Catherine's character? Do you consider her to be good heroine material?

So far, she seems sweet. While I have nothing against beautiful and talented heroines, I do find perfectly average heroines refreshing. It seems they discover their talents and a new side of themselves by the end. As someone that is perfectly average(except for my painful awkwardness), and as someone that is still looking for my talent, I connect with these heroines. They give me hope for myself. Since she is the heroine, though, I expect growth and challenge, and I'm eager to see how she turns out.

2. What are your first impressions of Mr. and Mrs. Allen? What sort of impact do they have on Catherine?

I'll keep this one short and sweet, but so far my impression of them isn't good. At this point, I don't expect anything good from them.

3. Has Mr. Tilney already stolen your heart, or are you still forming your opinion of his character? Which of his positive or negative qualities stand out to you most? Do you consider him to be good hero material?

I have to confess that while I haven't watched the movie, and I don't really know what will happen in this book(other than what is revealed within Midnight in Austenland), I do know that JJ Field plays the part of Tilney. I don't claim myself a fan of JJ, just because I've only seen him in Austenland, but I DO love that character. He portrays him to be quirky and sweet and such a gentleman. I'm picturing the same character so far for Tilney and I can't help but like him. I really think I would like him anyway, though. Tilney appears to be humorous and quirky himself!


Note: I DO have a post for Midnight in Austenland Shannon Hale and Austenland, the movie! Lord willing, that will go up soon.



  1. Oh wow! I commend you for going back and rereading those chapters again! I'm not impressed with the Allen's either. I'm not too sure about Tilney though. I'm worried there is something more mercenary about him, hopefully not, but even though I have read the story before I can't seem to remember. I hope that you will become a fan of Jane Austen while reading this one. My favorite is Pride & Prejudice. I loved the book! I had a hard time reading Emma. I tried two or three times to read it and couldn't get into it. Finally I buckled down and said I am going to finish this book! I did! But I think I liked the movie adaptation rather than the book :) So maybe you just need to find the "right" Austen book for you to fall in love with? Looking forward to more discussions as we progress through the book :)

    1. You've made me feel better! I'm determined to make it through this one, but I'll now keep in mind that maybe I haven't found the right one.

      And, I can definitely see the mercenary fear, now that you mention it. There was one part I wasn't sure whether to ignore or not. I'm very curious now! :)

  2. I'm going to look for my copy in hopes of joining the read along!

  3. Oh, how fun! You and Courtney shared the same favorite quote from this section. :) It's a great one!

    "Refreshing" is a great word to describe heroines like Catherine, and I agree that they give us hope! And regarding Tilney...oh my, yes! You really can't help but like him as JJ Feild portrays him. ;) I'm so excited for you to see the movie version! (I mean, I'm hoping you will!) He's so wonderful. *swoon*

    (I apologize for excessive fangirling!)

    Anyway, Austenland is such a great movie - it's won me over more with each subsequent viewing. And I just bought Midnight in Austenland for Kindle recently, so I'm looking forward to reading that. :) (The book version of Austenland was pretty good!)

    As Julie said, I hope this book will help you fall in love with Jane Austen's writing. I completely understand what you mean, though - it can definitely be hard to get into. I think doing these read-alongs and having "mandatory" reading has been helping me stay the course. :) I'm hoping to do more read-alongs so I can experience other Austen works on my shelf: Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park.

    Really happy to have you on board for this read-along!


    1. I am determined to visit all the other posts today! I had 3 quotes highlighted, but I just really liked that one. :)

      I definitely want to see the movie! It's taking great effort not to even take a peek at it until I've finished reading the book.

      I wasn't a fan of Austenland the book, but I truly LOVE the movie and even Midnight in Austenland. I hope you enjoy it, too.

      You're right! Having "mandatory" reading is helping. Also, seeing other people's opinions as I go along is helping my curiosity and making me want to finish more. Fun! :)

  4. I so agree! Perfectly ordinary heroines ARE quite refreshing. Most seem to have to have something different and exceptional about them these days. I'm liking Catherine so far. :)

    I've read two of Austen's books and this will be my third. I enjoy her writing myself, but if you've struggled in the past I hope we can encourage you to keep on! I do hope you like it the more you get into it. I'm so glad you've joined in with us! It's always fun to see what others impressions are. :)

  5. I started reading this one YEARS ago only to never finish. By now, it'd be wise to start again. How time does fly!