Classic novels are classic for a reason. In what they hope will be an easy book to write and have published, some writers may try to take a classic novel and bring it into the 21st century.
In the most recent cases of the modern reboots of Sense and Sensibility and The Age Of Innocence, the writers did little more than transfer the language, technology, clothing and transportation from the original time period to our time.
Thankfully, Val McDermid’s new novel, Northanger Abbey, based upon the Jane Austen novel of the same name, does not belong in this category.
This story is the same as the original novel. Cat Moreland is 17 years old, from Piddle Valley, Dorset, England. A, sheltered, bookwormish minister’s daughter who was home schooled, Cat, is invited by her parent’s childless friends, Mr. and Mrs. Allen to Edinburgh (Bath in the original novel).
As in the original novel, she meets the brother/sister duo’s of John and Isabella Thorpe and Henry and Eleanor Tilney. I won’t give the story away (I highly recommend reading this book if you haven’t), but one sibling duo turns out to not be so trustworthy and the other does turn out to be trustworthy.
Northanger Abbey is not one of my favorite Austen novels. This original novel is very much a transition book for Austen, as a writer. Her writing is starting to contain elements of later, more mature novels, but there are still traces of her early Juvenalia works. As to this modern reboot, the middle section was a little slow, but overall, it was a good read.