Northanger Abby by Jane Austen
Northanger Abby is my favorite Austen novel. It’s possible that I feel such affection for it because it was my first Austen novel, but I don’t believe that is the case. I love it because it not only has Austen’s trade mark satire of society and manners, it also contains some of the most lighthearted characters of all of her books. Catherine (the main character) is a very silly young lady with a ridiculously over blown imagination and her love of Gothic novels fuels her dramatic fantasies. (As I read this book I couldn’t help but think of comparisons between the idea that these Gothic novels caused young ladies to have overwrought imaginations and the perception that television is corrupting our youth. It seems the concept of media as corrupting just keeps coming back.)
In the end however, Catherine’s daydreams aren’t all a mistake. She is sought after by a man with less than good intentions (her brother receives the same treatment from a woman) and the man she loves does have what seems a dark secret.
All in all I found this the funniest and most directly enjoyable of all of Austen’s novels. I also consider this one of my all time favorite books.