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review 2018-08-16 06:50
Fun running over tropes
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Why did I take this long to read this? From Austen's big six, this is the last I got to. I mean, I know what my reasoning was: satire and humour was not what I was looking for when I searched for an Austen volume. But I was wrong to, because this was a great romp.

 

(On that note, one day I have to write long and hard on how the prominence of Pride and Prejudice in pop-media puts an expectation on what Austen writes about that is a total disservice to her body of work)

 

If you put this and Persuasion together, it's impossible to ignore that the woman's common thread is not romance, but social critique, and tropes and expectations. In this one she takes Gothic literature ones, and more than run with them, runs them over. Anne Brontë kinda did that in a very understated way. There is nothing understated here, and I was laughing from the opening lines alone... Actually, the overall initial setting is quite similar to Brontë's Agnes Grey's opening, just, you know, absolutely savage. Much like the whole book.

 

The charming part comes from Catherine being a sincerely good-natured soul, and pretty sensible on the whole, so even where she hypes herself from much sensational reading (and hell, like nobody ever got jumpy in the night after reading or watching some horror), and builds some weird fantasies on it, she never quite finds herself carried away on over-dramatic feelings of angst, be it romantic or otherwise. Even when other characters ask about them on hilariously detailed, over the top descriptions.

 

I get now why it is the favourite Austen among many. I had lots of fun with it.

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text 2018-08-16 03:55
Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 254 pages.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

*chortle* This girl has gone quixotic.

 

At first she got embarrassed when her flights of fancy got shot-down by pedestrian reality, but now! She can't even recognize deep grief.

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review 2018-08-15 06:59
Secrets, danger, and friendship made this a good story
Diamond in the Rough - Jane Goodger

Secrets almost destroy Clara's HEA. Nathaniel was not what he seemed, but he was want Clara wanted. A friendship grew into more, but the secret kept it from becoming more. I loved Clara's willingness to make her mother happy no matter what she had to put up with, showing how much she could love. I smiled as Nathaniel's single-mindedness shifted focus as he got to know Clara. The ending seemed a bit rushed to wrap everything up but left no loose ends. The story was good, and it was nice to see some secondary characters find their happiness as well.

I received an ARC of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

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text 2018-08-15 06:06
Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 254 pages.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.

 

Ah, wow. There is Austen's cynicism in all it's glory

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text 2018-08-15 05:26
Reading progress update: I've read 90 out of 254 pages.
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

"I cannot help being jealous, Catherine, when I see myself slighted for strangers, I, who love you so excessively! When once my affections are placed, it is not in the power of anything to change them. But I believe my feelings are stronger than anybody's; I am sure they are too strong for my own peace; and to see myself supplanted in your friendship by strangers does cut me to the quick, I own. These Tilneys seem to swallow up everything else."

Catherine thought this reproach equally strange and unkind. Was it the part of a friend thus to expose her feelings to the notice of others? Isabella appeared to her ungenerous and selfish, regardless of everything but her own gratification. These painful ideas crossed her mind, though she said nothing. Isabella, in the meanwhile, had applied her handkerchief to her eyes; and Morland, miserable at such a sight, could not help saying, "Nay, Catherine. I think you cannot stand out any longer now. The sacrifice is not much; and to oblige such a friend -- I shall think you quite unkind, if you still refuse."

 

Well, that's a nice piece of guilt-tripping and gaslightening.

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