Catherine Morland is a young girl on the verge of love and marriage. While vacationing with her extended family, she falls in love with the witty Henry Tilney and befriends Isabella Thorpe. As the three families mingle and its younger members form friendships and relationships, Catherine realizes that not everyone’s words align with their actions.

I’ve just been loving Austen recently! Both the narrator and our male love interest are witty. Although Austen frequently employs such narrators/characters, this is one of those instances when she pokes fun both subtly and explicitly and often gets me grinning.

The best thing about this work is its anti-Gothic-trope elements. Austen would set up these stereotypically Gothic scenes and ensure both Catherine and the reader are expectant of a Gothic outcome, only to have everything come crashing down and turn into a joke.

Although this book is now a “classic” to us, it would not be hard to imagine how this would have been part of the contemporary popular culture — the way it parodies the Gothic novel is just the way we now spin romance/horror/mystery genres on their heads.

I have been reading Austen since I was a teen, but have never loved any of her works (except the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie adaptation) until Mansfield Park. But the fact that I liked this one too makes me think that maybe I’m finally approaching that age to understand “society” and “humanity,” so I have downloaded both Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility and will be listening to those next!

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