Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
What better place for an imaginative, book-besotted girl than the lively cultural joys of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival? That’s where author Val McDermid sends Catherine, aka Cat, Morland instead of Bath in this Austen Project update of Northanger Abbey. This is the second book in the series, Joanna Trollope’s modern take of Sense & Sensibility was first, and like its predecessor this Northanger Abbey sticks very close to the original, just reimaging the setting and circumstances, though in this case McDermid adds some clever contemporary twists at the end.
Instead of Gothic novels Cat is happily obsessed with vampire books and she’s especially excited to be in Edinburgh because she thinks it’s the perfect setting for all things paranormal--she can easily imagine vampires around every corner, which of course becomes a problem. This Cat is just as artless and eager as her original and all the main characters from Austen’s novels are back in modern forms. Charming Henry Tilney is now a lawyer instead of a clergyman, Isabella Thorpe is just as selfish and manipulative as ever but with more range because she can tweet and post, Eleanor Tilney has a new reason to be lonely--revealed late in the story--and the Tilney’s abbey home is now suitably isolated in the Scottish Borders, outside the range of cell phones reception.
Though McDermid is a crime novelist this Northanger Abbey is as lighthearted as Austen’s original. I don’t always enjoy Austen inspired novels by contemporary authors, but this retelling has Austen-like wit and spirit, and it was a lot fun to discover McDermid’s update choices as I read along. Plus I loved the vivid setting just as much as Cat. I received an ebook copy of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley. The review opinions are mine.