In this spirited comedy of manners, Catherine Morland falls in love with a young clergyman while vacationing in Bath, and his father, thinking her wealthy, invites her to be a guest at Northanger Abbey, the family's country estate. But things take a turn for the worse when it's discovered that she is not wealthy.
Addicted to Jane Austen: Getting to Know Northanger Abbey (blog)
Goodreads: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Let's set the scene...
[Dean, from behind the bench, leans in between the two of them]
Dean: Nice hat. [Dean sits on the bench and hands Rory a book] Here.
Rory: Oh, how'd you like it?
Dean: Well, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
Rory: Aha! You liked it, you liked Jane Austen. I knew you would. Lane, Dean likes Jane Austen.
[BW&R Note: Through my extensive research (i.e. "I Googled that shit"), the book Dean is holding in this scene is Northanger Abbey.]
Although I tend to be in the minority on this matter, I immensely enjoy Jane Austen. Yes, her characters are one-dimensional and the stories can tend toward the vapid... but that is because her books are a commentary on the focus of society at that point in time. Her writing is a satire of high society in the 19th century... putting a spotlight on the vanity, sexism and social climbing prevalent during that time.
The aspect I liked most about Northanger Abbey was how Austen wrote Catherine as a heroine just awaiting an adventure. Catherine allows her imagination to run away with her... and although it causes a bit of embarrassment for her at times, it also grounds her. Unlike that moron Don Quixote, Catherine isn't delusional. Yes, occasionally a linen receipt is a secret love letter from former residents.... or a death caused by illness is really a murder plot just waiting to be uncovered. But eventually, Catherine comes back down to Earth and recognizes her tendency towards wishful thinking when she's in want of adventure and secrets.
Who do I see reading this in the Stars Hollow gazebo?
Like Catherine Morland, Lorelai allows herself a life of whimsy and hope. Both know that it's okay to allow yourself to explore the unthinkable, as long as you're tethered to the ground.