Friday, August 15, 2014

Book Review: Northanger Abbey (2014)

Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid, Grove Press, New York, 2014.
This book is a modern reworking of the classic Jane Austen novel of the same name.  This novel hangs on an assumption to make it even sound plausible—that Catherine Morland’s reading of vampire books would lead her to suspect the family she is staying with of being vampires.  I just couldn’t buy that premise and so this book didn’t quite work for me. 
It had the lure of a trip to Scotland for a book and drama festival; the social life of the North Country.  It also had the mystery surrounding Northanger Abbey, where the mother had passed away from cancer and they were all still dealing with this wound.  Northanger Abbey had been redecorated for the most part, so there was not the castle fa├žade, but that of a modern home. 
And then there was a brother and sister who looked alluring, but in the end were not, and the love interest in Henry, the handsome dancer who works as a lawyer.  In the end, to profess his love, he must go against the wishes of his father.

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