Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Bride of Northanger...Diana Birchall

My stop in the blog tour for Diana Birchall's The Bride of Northanger is a review of this lovely book. I will get to the review in a minute, but right now let's take a look at the blurb or book description and get to know the author. 

First, you know me and covers, and don't you just love this one! I think it is beautiful. Abigail Reynolds' daughter, Rebecca, did a fantastic job on it! Congratulations to Rebecca and Diana.


A happier heroine than Catherine Morland does not exist in England, for she is about to marry her beloved, the handsome, witty Henry Tilney. The night before the wedding, Henry reluctantly tells Catherine and her horrified parents a secret he has dreaded to share - that there is a terrible curse on his family and their home, Northanger Abbey. Henry is a clergyman, educated and rational, and after her year’s engagement Catherine is no longer the silly young girl who delighted in reading “horrid novels”; she has improved in both reading and rationality. This sensible young couple cannot believe curses are real...until a murder at the Abbey triggers events as horrid and Gothic as Jane Austen ever parodied - events that shake the young Tilneys’ certainties, but never their love for each other...


Diana Birchall worked for many years at Warner Bros studios as a story analyst, reading novels to see if they would make movies. Reading manuscripts went side by side with a restorative and sanity-preserving life in Jane Austen studies and resulted in her writing Austenesque fiction both as homage and attempted investigation of the secrets of Jane Austen's style. She is the author of In Defense of Mrs. Elton, Mrs. Elton in America, Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma, and the new The Bride of Northanger. She has written hundreds of Austenesque short stories and plays, as well as a biography of her novelist grandmother, and has lectured on her books and staged play readings at places as diverse as Hollywood, Brooklyn, Montreal, Chawton House Library, Alaska, and Yale. Visit Diana at her Austen Variations author page, follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.


The Doyenne of Austenesque fiction, Diana Birchall, tours the blogosphere October 28 through November 15 to share her latest release, The Bride of Northanger. Thirty popular bloggers specializing in historical and Austenesque fiction will feature guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and book reviews of this acclaimed continuation of Jane Austen’s Gothic parody, Northanger Abbey.  

My share in the conversation... 

A Book Review: The Bride of Northanger by Diana Birchall

The book begins with a quick history of the relationship of Catherine Morland and the Tilney’s, especially Henry. The author does not get bogged down in the retelling of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, but gives just enough information to set the stage for her own story.

On the evening before the wedding, Henry is preoccupied and a little troubled. He must relate to his soon-to-be bride and her parents, a secret that involves his family and their home, Northanger Abbey. As stated in the book description, there is a curse on the family. This curse has troubled all the first-born sons for many centuries. After much discussion, it is agreed that curses do not exist, and all retire for night with pleasant thoughts of the much-anticipated wedding.

The newly married couple arrive at their home in Woodston and begin a happy time as newlyweds. Before their required trip to visit General Tilney and the Abbey, we get glimpses of their life and a few clues of foreboding.

During their second week of marital bliss, the couple leave for Northanger Abbey. Thankfully, Eleanor and her new husband, Charles, will also be there. That reunion is a joyful one, although the one with Henry’s father and his brother, Frederick, is not so nice. The General also has other guests coming and from this point, much begins to happen. It is quite scary at times and kept me reading and wondering what was coming next. Catherine proves herself as a true heroine throughout, and the love she and Henry share only strengthens.

This is a beautifully written book. Diana Birchall has an almost uncanny way of writing Jane Austen. I could nearly believe I was reading Jane’s own words. It was a treat in of itself. The book and its story were the icing. The Bride of Northanger is an excellent book and one I highly recommend. It is a love story continued, an awakening of the past, and uncovered secrets. There are some original characters revisited and some new ones introduced. All are well-developed and their role is significant to the story. Yes, it is a Gothic novel and is eerily spooky at times, but it is delightful to read. One part of the story brought a few tears to my eyes. Well done, Diana Birchall. Thank you for sharing your talents with us.



·        Diana Birchall’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/diana.birchall
·        Diana Birchall’s Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/64135.Diana_Birchall
·        Diana Birchall’s Twitter page: https://twitter.com/Dianabirchall
·       Twitter handles: @DianaBirchall, @WhiteSoupPress

Thank you to everyone for stopping by. I hope you will share your thoughts on The Bride of Northanger and/or my review or both. :) If you haven't read this book, I do so hope you get the chance to read it soon. I highly recommend it. 

Best wishes to you with your new book, Diana Birchall. Thank you, Laurel Ann Nattress, for organizing this blog tour and for including me and my blog. It has been a pleasure.

If you have missed any of the previous stops on the blog tour, the full schedule is below.


October 28                My Jane Austen Book Club (Interview)
October 28                Austenprose—A Jane Austen Blog (Review)
October 28                vvb32 Reads (Spotlight)                           
October 29                A Covent Garden Gilflurt’s Guide of Life (Guest Blog)
October 29                From Pemberley to Milton (Excerpt)
October 30                Drunk Austen (Interview)
October 30                Silver Petticoat Review (Excerpt)
October 31                Jane Austen’s World (Review)
November 01            So Little Time… (Interview)
November 01            Laura's Reviews (Review)
November 04            English Historical Fiction Authors (Guest Blog)
November 04            Confessions of a Book Addict (Spotlight)
November 05            More Agreeably Engaged (Review)
November 05            Vesper’s Place (Review)
November 06            Jane Austen in Vermont (Interview)
November 06            Diary of an Eccentric (Interview)
November 07            All Things Austen (Spotlight)
November 07            A Bookish Way of Life (Review)
November 07            Let Them Read Books (Excerpt)  
November 08            Babblings of a Bookworm (Review)
November 08            vvb32 Reads (Review)
November 11            My Jane Austen Book Club (Review)
November 11            Reading the Past (Spotlight)
November 12            Jane Austen’s World (Interview)
November 12            The Calico Critic (Excerpt)
November 13            The Book Rat (Review)
November 13            Austenesque Reviews (Review)
November 14            Fangs, Wands, & Fairy Dust (Review)
November 14            The Fiction Addiction (Review)
November 15            My Love for Jane Austen (Spotlight)
November 15            Scuffed Slippers and Wormy Books (Review)                       


  1. Lovely review Janet. I am glad you enjoyed Bride too. Diana has an amazing grasp or Austen speak! Her Catherine and Henry are delightful, and I loved the cheeky Gothic tropes.

    1. I did too, Laurel Ann. It was delightful in a Gothic way and I loved her Catherine and Henry! Diana does have Austen speak well in her grasp. It was amazing to read.

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  2. A wonderfully written review, Janet! You have definitely made it sound interesting. Your praise for Diana's writing makes the book even more appealing. I shall look forward to reading this one! :)

    1. Thank you. I hope you get to read it soon, Kelly. It is a great book.

  3. I loved this one too both as a sequel and as a gothic fiction. Engaging review, Janet :)

    1. Thanks, Sophia Rose. I'm glad to hear you loved it too. It hit the mark on both, didn't it!

  4. Great review, Janet! I have long been in awe of Diana’s writing, and this book sounds like it will not disappoint. Oh, and I love the cover!

    1. I can see why you have been in awe of her writing, Jan. It is amazing. I hope you will get to read it soon. I think you will love it, and yes, the cover is gorgeous!