Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Mr. Knightley's Diary


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

8 comments:

JaneGS 10:12 AM  

I picked up this book awhile ago, having heard good things about Amanda Grange's books. Now you've motivated me to pull it from the shelf and add it to the TBR pile. While I enjoy Emma in all its forms, I haven't read a Mr. Knightley pov story yet.

Suko 3:09 PM  

Becky it sounds as if you really enjoyed this book. Wonderful!

Joan Holub 12:40 AM  

Hi Becky, I was a huge fan of the original Emma, and have always wished for more romance in this story. Sounds like my wish may have been granted in this new spin on Emma. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Anonymous,  7:43 AM  

Thank you! I was really looking forward to your review of this, as I had happened to buy the book in February... I'm so glad you liked it! :) L.

Serena 9:12 AM  

I love Amanda Grange's novels. I think they are fantastic. This is one I have not read, but think I will have to soon. great review. I never really liked Emma either.

www.bluemoneyonline.com 8:07 PM  

I've been hearing nice things about Amanda Grange's books. Maybe it's time I got a copy.

Laurel Ann 3:03 PM  

I admire Amanda Grange and have enjoyed her Austen heroes novels. Of all five that have been published so far (still waiting for Henry Tilney's Diary) this is my least favorite. It is still very entertaining, I just have such a vision of Mr. Knightley that is hard to match that I was a tad disappointed. My own quirk mind you and most really enjoyed this book. Thanks for the great review Becky. You must be a speed reader/writer to read and review so many books in one week. I am lucky to pump out one review a week.

Cheers, Laurel Ann

Mandy 4:47 PM  

It was great!! thanks!

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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