I really don’t understand why this is one of the not-so-popular Austen novels. I loved it!
Catherine Morland is a young, fun heroine. She wasn’t the prettiest or brightest child, but she grows into a very innocent, sweet, and pretty young lady. She’s still not the brightest crayon in the box, as she lets her imagination run wild with the “sensational novels” she reads, but she’s honest and true to herself.
There were some characters that it was really fun to dislike, mainly John Thorpe. And the sarcasm and wit in this novel made it an extremely enjoyable read. Sure, maybe the wit isn’t as subtle and intelligent-sounding as in Austen’s more popular works, but that doesn’t make it bad. It made it more relaxing and enjoyable to read. The storyline wasn’t boring, and kept me interested and reading quickly. And the attachment between Henry Tilney and Catherine was evident from the very beginning, and I could practically feel the romantic anticipation between them growing throughout the book.
Also interesting is that Austen keeps talking directly to you, “the reader”, and refers often to Catherine as “the heroine”. It’s so funny to see Austen playing with the general rules of a novel, and kind of teaching herself how to write a novel as the book goes along. It’s a very fun and light-hearted read, despite Catherine’s love for Gothic novels. (And I have to say that I’m tempted to go look up and read some of the Gothic novels mentioned.)
I don’t care what the general opinion is, but for me this is right up there with Pride and Prejudice. They’re very different, but equally awesome.