A modern re-imagining of the Gothic Classic Northanger Abbey by the bestselling crime author Val McDermid. The second book in The Austen Project.
For Cat Morland life being home-schooled in Dorset is unendurably ordinary. To cope, she devours as many novels as possible, especially anything supernatural. But if Cat can tear her eyes away from the page, she's in for a shock: the very stuff of her dreams is about to come true.
An invite to the Edinburgh Festival from some wealthy neighbours throws her in the way of a mysterious young man, Henry Tilney; a like-minded friend, Isabella Thorpe; and her odious brother, who threatens to ruin Cat's chances of adventure. But this heroine is not so easily deterred, especially when she's singled out by the Tilney family to stay with them at their imposing gothic castle, Northanger Abbey.
Turrets and creaking doors there may be, but in the depths of the Scottish Borders Cat is isolated from the outside world, with no phone signal and no internet. She's all alone in an ancient abbey alive with old secrets and a family who are not quite as they seem. Is real life about to become more terrifying than the world of her imagination?
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Comments about Northanger Abbey:
This is the first book I've read by this author after listening to a terrific interview with her but her clearly considerable talents have been shoe-horned into an impossible task - a modern-day re-telling of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. There's just no good reason AT ALL to re-create the novels of Jane Austen - they're perfectly understandable and enjoyable and clever in their original form and although their themes are universal, without the clever language and astute societal observations of the originals, any retelling that I've experienced or read so far has just fallen far short of the original. This is so cringe-inducing that I didn't even finish it - and really can't believe that Val has a teenage daughter (same age as protagonist) and have written her so naively. I am still going to try one of Val's originals tho - just chose the wrong one to start with I hope.
Praise for Northanger Abbey:'Val McDermid's brilliant re-working of Jane Austen's original shows that innocent, bookish girls in thrall to the supernatural have changed surprisingly little in two centuries. Witty and shrewd, full of romance and skulduggery - I loved it.'J.K. ROWLING`Brilliant... I was utterly charmed by this newfangled Austen and look forward eagerly to Alexander McCall Smith's Emma'John Sutherland, Financial Times`Funny and brilliantly written' Jenny Colgan, Guardian`Northanger Abbey is funny, clever, subversive and Scottish. No bonnets - all brio'JEANETTE WINTERSON`I picked up Northanger Abbey one evening and didn't stop reading until I'd finished it. It's an exquisitely realised tale of the uncertainty and brutality of teenage years told with the lightness of touch and humour that Val is famous for. Utter brilliance from McDermid' SUSAN CALMAN`McDermid's reworking of the original novel is intelligent, amusing and well-written... captures beautifully how it feels to be a teenager... McDermid is a subtle and witty writer and it's hard to imagine a better evocation of the spirit of the original.' THE TIMES`A fun rendering... McDermid's Abbey, with its passageways and dark corners, is fantastic, and this novel is a lark.' SUNDAY TIMES`McDermid's great virtue is to have made Austen's characters seem fresh in the way they would have been for her first readers... I can imagine Jane herself applauding.' SUNDAY EXPRESS`Note perfect... breezy, vital, inventive... Her obvious pleasure in the task is as contagious as Austen's wit.' THE SCOTSMANPraise for The Austen Project:`The Austen Project is a breathtaking tribute to Jane Austen. I can't wait to read the other five "updates" while being reminded to reread, joyfully, the originals' Washington Post
Number Of Pages: 368
Published: 1st October 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.9 x 14.4 x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.34