Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid. Recommended by Sarah (Assistant Librarian, Radcliffe Library)
‘I have recently read Val McDermid’s rewriting of ‘Northanger Abbey’. I’d never read the original so I tried Jane Austen first, and then Val McDermid’s retelling that is set in the modern day. I was amusing and highly entertaining how Val McDermid managed to find modern social situations to mirror the pastimes of Jane Austen’s society, and she also cleverly draws to our attention how some aspects of society really haven’t changed that much.’ Sarah.
Seventeen-year-old Catherine ‘Cat’ Morland has led a sheltered existence in rural Dorset, a life entirely bereft of the romance and excitement for which she yearns. So when Cat’s wealthy neighbours, the Allens, invite her to the Edinburgh Festival, she is sure adventure beckons. Edinburgh initially offers no such thrills: Susie Allen is obsessed by shopping, Andrew Allen by the Fringe. A Highland Dance class, though, brings Cat a new acquaintance: Henry Tilney, a pale, dark-eyed gentleman whose family home, Northanger Abbey, sounds perfectly thrilling. And an introduction to Bella Thorpe, who shares her passion for supernatural novels, provides Cat with a like-minded friend.