Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Bride of Northanger: A Jane Austen Variation by Diana Birchall

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

A happier heroine than Catherine Morland does not exist in England, for she is about to marry her beloved, the handsome, witty Henry Tilney. The night before the wedding, Henry reluctantly tells Catherine and her horrified parents a secret he has dreaded to share – that there is a terrible curse on his family and their home, Northanger Abbey. Henry is a clergyman, educated and rational, and after her year’s engagement Catherine is no longer the silly young girl who delighted in reading “horrid novels”; she has improved in both reading and rationality. This sensible young couple cannot believe curses are real…until a murder at the Abbey triggers events as horrid and Gothic as Jane Austen ever parodied – events that shake the young Tilneys’ certainties, but never their love for each other…

my thoughts:

A sequel to Northanger Abbey - say what?! Yep, Diana Birchall has written a sequel to Austen's fantastic Gothic-inspired novel.  At the time, Gothic novels were all the rage, so Austen decided to have a bit of fun and create a satire of the genre.  And let me just say, how happy are we that she did so? Northanger Abbey is truly one of her best works.  Luckily for us, The Bride of Northanger picks up right where Austen left off and brings us back to Catherine and Henry.  The couple is happily engaged and looking forward to their future together.  Except, on the night before the wedding, Henry reveals some rather disturbing news...his family is cursed. Ack! Or it should be, ahhh! Only, Catherine is no longer interested in superstitious nonsense, and dismisses Henry's revelation.  However, she soon begins to wonder about the curse when some rather spooky things begin to happen (along with a murder!).  Yep, looks like Catherine and Henry have quite a lot to deal with on their return to Northanger Abbey.  And, that is all I will write about the story.  You just have to experience it for yourself - its a Gothic romance at its very best!

Birchall has done a wonderful job of breathing life into these beloved characters.  Her writing is spot on - the vivid details, the history, and the Gothic nature of it all - oh, my!  She easily blends mystery and romance with a bit of creepiness to create the perfect combination of Austen/Birchall.  I'm serious, this story seamlessly follows Austen's - its uncanny and I love it!  The Bride of Northanger is a must-read for fans of Birchall and fans of Austen - you will fall in love with this book!!


Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

I do love Northanger Abbey! Catherine and Henry are such great characters. This book sounds like a fun sequel. :)

Laurel Ann Nattress said...

"It's Gothic romance at its best." High praise indeed Nadia. Thanks for sharing your review.

Nadia said...

Lark, yes!! Me, too! One of my faves :) Definitely check it out :)

Laurel Ann Nattress, it was an amazing read and definitely deserved such high praise :) Thanks for having me on this tour.

Hamza, thanks!