Mr. Knightley's Diary. Amanda Grange. 2007. Penguin. 294 pages.
Tuesday 22 September I was very sorry to have to tell Weston that I will miss his wedding, as business calls me to town, but I am looking forward to seeing John and Isabella again. I can hardly believe it is seven years since they married. It seems like only yesterday they were courting, and John was neglecting everything in favour of walking over to Hartfield to see her...
Since reading Colonel Brandon's Diary last fall, I've been wanting to read more Amanda Grange. In particular her 'diary' series of novels inspired by Jane Austen's leading men.
I'm not the biggest fan of the novel, Emma. It's one of those stories--in my opinion--that is almost better watched than read. It's an enjoyable story to watch unfold. And if the leading men cast in the roles happen to be cute, well, that's always nice. But it can be a bit of a tricky read. It's not an easy read.
What was I expecting from Mr. Knightley's Diary? I was expecting Amanda Grange to redeem the novel Emma. To make me appreciate the story more. To make this romance between Emma and Mr. Knightley a bit more believable perhaps? To make me feel more connected to the characters, to the story.
I was not disappointed with Mr. Knightley's Diary! Not at all! It did everything I wanted. Seeing Emma and the others (Jane Fairfax, Frank Churchill, Mr. Woodhouse, Mr. and Mrs. Weston, John and Isabella Knightley, Mr. and Mrs. Elton, Miss Bates, Harriet Smith, Robert Martin, etc.) through Mr. Knightley's eyes made a BIG difference to me as a reader. His views of Frank Churchill, in particular, were appreciated because they matched my own. The story--as told by Mr. Knightley (George Knightley)--was much more romantic, much more endearing than the original.
I don't think you need to be familiar with Emma (the book)--especially if you've seen one of the movie adaptations--to appreciate Amanda Grange's Mr. Knightley's Diary.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews