A Summer Read For You

Are you looking for a good summer read?  Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen is the book to read!! Here is a good old fashioned book review, so read on if you are interested!

I decided to read this book because I LOVED reading Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility, and other Jane Austen books, and just like the others, Northanger Abbey easily earned a spot among my favorite books.  For one thing, it is a Jane Austen book and therefore the characters and time period are charming and captivating. In addition, it is one of Jane Austen’s shortest novels and the length adds to the perfection of this read.  But the main reason to read this novel is this: the “heroine” of Northanger Abbey, Catherine Morland, has a story akin to almost any girl finding herself in the world.

Just like the rest of us, Catherine has many imperfections and issues.  Catherine is the fourth of ten children and enjoyed playing with her brothers as a child.  She has now bloomed into a beautiful, kind young woman, but still is different from many of the people she meets and has flaws to work through.  For one thing, she is quite naïve, seeing only the good in other people, and often fails to recognize their true character.  This causes her some struggles, but her cheery outlook and love for others endears her to readers and to her true friends. She also loves to romanticize things and looks for drama and mystery in the world around her.  She constantly imagines her life to be like the lives of characters in the exciting novels she reads. This gets her into a bit of trouble, but Catherine eventually is able to learn a powerful lesson here.  She learns that her life itself is special and what she needs is not drama, but is home, love, and friendship.

Catherine struggles with finding true friends and with feeling she does not measure up.  These are plights over which most of us can relate.  Jane Austen puts feelings and situations into this novel that we face every day. This is why I loved this book so much!  It helped me to recognize that the daily struggles you, Catherine, and I all go through are worthy of a novel. Everyone is the hero or heroine in their own story. As Catherine realizes how her day to day life is special, I realized that to find joy, one must simply appreciate their situation and look optimistically into the future.

I would highly recommend Northanger Abbey as a summer read!

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