- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Now in paperback, Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey is an updated take on Jane Austen’s classic novel about a young woman whose visit to the stately home of a well-to-do acquaintance stirs her most macabre imaginings. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, Cat ...
Now in paperback, Val McDermid’s Northanger Abbey is an updated take on Jane Austen’s classic novel about a young woman whose visit to the stately home of a well-to-do acquaintance stirs her most macabre imaginings. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, Cat Morland loses herself in novels (and, of course, her smartphone) and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when her neighbors, the Allens, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then she meets handsome Henry Tilney, who lives at the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help but wonder if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Maybe she has just been reading too many novels?
“There’s an archness and precision to McDermid’s prose that beautifully echoes Austen’s own. . . . Engages in a witty conversation with the original . . . More than just a cover version. McDermid has taken possession of Northanger Abbey.”—New York Times Book Review
“A note perfect modern reworking of Austen’s classic gothic satire. . . . Breezy, vital, inventive . . . [McDermid’s] obvious pleasure in the task is as contagious as Austen’s wit.” —The Scotsman (UK)
“The unmitigated pleasure here is the obvious relish with which McDermid relocates Austen’s Regency England tale of romantic intrigue in Bath’s high-society circuit and imaginatively-spun Gothic intrigue at a rural abbey to 21st-century Britain. . . . McDermid’s success lies in her ability to allow her version of Northanger Abbey to dovetail tidily and enjoyably with Austen’s original while infusing it with her own humor, wit, and style. . . . Long before Cat is off to the Tilneys’ abbey, long before our modern-day crime author draws a final, canny ace from her tartan sleeve, you’ll have succumbed to the delights of Northanger à la McDermid.”—Daneet Steffens, The Boston Globe
“Gold Dagger Awardwinning British crime writer McDermid offers a canny new twist on Jane Austen’s early novel. . . . McDermid’s brilliant update of the characters’ outlooks, philosophies, and attitudes within a modern context makes this a reimagined delight for Austen fans.”—Amber Peckham, Booklist
“Scottish crime writer McDermid adeptly reworks Jane Austen’s Gothic satire for the modern audiences. . . . Following Austen’s storyline but diverging in distinctive ways of her own, McDermid captures the naivete of the protagonist of Austen’s prose. . . . Rife with conflicts of love, gossip, misunderstandings, and updates on social media, it is an accessible and enjoyable read, especially rewarding for young readers as a gateway into appreciating the classics.”—Publishers Weekly
Praise for Val McDermid:
“Val McDermid . . . has the ruthless psychological scalpel that forms part of the equipment of all good novelists, whatever their genre. And, fortunately for us, she knows just how to use it.”—Andrew Taylor, The Guardian (UK), on The Retribution
“McDermid is a whiz at combining narrative threads, shifting to the viewpoints of her various characters . . . and ending chapters with cliffhangers that propel you to keep reading. . . . She’s the best we’ve got.”—New York Times Book Review, on Killing the Shadows
“One of the most accomplished crime novelists in the UK, Val McDermid has an acute reading of the psychology that lifts her out of the genre strait-jacket. She delivers pulse-raising set-pieces when necessary, but truthfulness of characterization is always more important than the exigencies of plot.”—Barry Forshaw, The Independent (UK), on The Vanishing Point
“Smooth. Confident. Deeply satisfying. What else can you say about McDermid’s writing?”—Entertainment Weekly (editor’s choice), on The Torment of Others
“Her work is taut, psychologically complex and so gripping that it puts your life on hold.”—The Times (UK)
Posted June 30, 2014
I picked this book up for a new fictional read, having read the summary and found that as a redone classic page-turner. This book has been retold and rewritten extremely well from the origional book by Jane Austin. The story is plotted so that the emotion the characters are experiencing and producing evokes your emotion with them (or against them). I like how the story has a classic feel yet when your reading, you feel as though it is a whole new modern story with recognizable infliences. This book is as a whole, a must read and a great tribute to the original.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2014
I thoroughly enjoyed the re-telling of this Jane Austen classic. Most of you have already read the original so I will only be giving a little
bit of detail about the story, so here goes. Cat Morland has not experienced a lot of life. She is thus very excited when her neighbors,
the Allens, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival with them in Edinburgh. There she meets the Thorpe family, who's matriarch, Martha,
used to go to school with Susie Allen and quickly starts up a friendship with Martha's daughter Bella. Turns out the world is immensely
small and the Thorpe family has already met Cat's older brother James, who is a mate of Bella's brother, Johnny. Bella who has a
crush on James sinks her fangs into Cat in order to hopefully impress the brother. Then there is the Tilney's, Henry and Eleanor, who
of course live at Northanger Abbey. Cat falls for the older Henry, of course, and is so excited to accepted the invitation of the Tilney's to
join them for a stay at their home, Northanger Abbey. Mysteries, scandals, and even some made up scandals ensue causing a lot of
heartache for Cat, James, Eleanor, and Henry but things sometimes have a way of working themselves out and soon everything is
right in the world of Austen/McDermid again. Is Love Just Not Grand! If you love YA you will even fall for this re-telling of Jane Austen's
Posted June 13, 2014
I was a little nervous when I began Val McDermid's version of this Jane Austen classic. It's the second
release from the Jane Austen Project, which pairs six well-known contemporary authors with a Jane
Austen novel. I thought the first one--Joanna Trollope's version of SENSE AND SENSIBILITY--a
disaster and didn't hold out much hope for this one. It probably doesn't help that NORTHANGER
ABBEY is my least favorite of Austen's works.
Surprise. I loved it. It's fun and flirty and silly. But it works. Let's face it, Austen didn't write the book as
a serious novel. It was her pointed (and sarcastic) reply to the highbrows of her time, who denigrated
the novel and even questioned its position as a true literary form.
In some ways, I prefer McDermid's version to the original. It might be the setting. Cat Morland travels
to Edinburgh instead of Bath. The draw is a month-long arts festival. The events of the book come
alive as we tag along with the characters to concerts, plays, dances, book signings and poetry
In general, the characters are well-drawn and convincing. At times, Cat is more sophisticated than
McDermid originally describes her. Any immaturity she shows has more to do with a lack of
experience--especially social experience--than intellectual dullness or provincialism. Her vicarage
upbringing has certainly not prepared her for the devious personalities she finds surrounding her in
Scotland. Cat's vampire fixation, especially as it pertains to the Tilney family, is a bit ridiculous, but
it's also perfectly realistic in light of current pop culture, where even morning television spots cover the
relative merits of vampires versus werewolves for boyfriends and how to survive a zombie apocalypse.
Henry Tilney is probably McDermid's least successful character. His stiffness and general lack of
humor is more pronounced here than in the original. Austen's Henry needled and provoked her
heroine. McDermid's version lectures and criticizes. Also, the reason behind General Tilney's exile of
Cat from Northanger doesn't quite convince. Yet, even here there's a logic, a sad parallel, between
Cat's suspicions of vampires and the general's fear of lesbians. Each is discomfited by what is, for
them, dangerous and alien.
So, three cheers (and at least as many re-readings) for Val McDermid's NORTHANGER ABBEY. What a
fun way to spend an afternoon!
Posted June 6, 2014
I knew it was a rewrite of the classic, but having read Val McDermid before,I was sure she would put a macabre twist to it. Not so. About as exciting as the original by Austen. SorryWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2014
Posted May 9, 2014
Its a clean retelling of an old classic. If you like it I recommend checking out Jenni James' Jane Austen retellings. They're the best I've read so far. But this one is really good too.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 27, 2014
No text was provided for this review.