When I decided to reread Jane Austen in 2014, I had a feeling that I'd also end up rereading Amanda Grange's Diary series. After finishing Austen's Sense and Sensibility, I felt the need to reread Colonel Brandon's Diary. It was just as lovely as I remembered; I first read it in November 2009. In fact, if I hadn't fallen in love with Amanda Grange's novel, I might not have gone back to Austen's novel again and again. The first time I read Sense and Sensibility, something was missing. I suppose I wasn't in the proper mood to read it and appreciate it, to savor and treasure each page. I rushed through it vaguely dissatisfied. Every time I've reread it since, I've loved it, really truly loved it. I've been surprised that I could have ever found it unsatisfying.
I love and adore Colonel Brandon. I love getting his story. I love seeing things through his point of view. I love getting to know the two Eliza's in his life: mother and daughter. I love how Grange gives a whole new perspective to his courtship with Marianne. I love seeing Colonel Brandon's reaction to Mrs. Jennings too. I love that he wasn't as quick to fall madly, deeply in love with Marianne as Mrs. Jennings is to suspect him of doing just that. His conversations with Marianne in the last part of the novel really worked for me. Marianne's "transformation" does not come across as so sudden, so dramatic. The relationship feels to be moving along at just the right pace; a relationship built on friendship and respect and love.
I would definitely recommend this one! I only wish that Amanda Grange would write more Diaries. I would love to see Edward Ferrars' Diary. I'd love his perspective, to catch a glimpse of his past, of his relationships with his family, of his infatuation with Lucy Steele, and his first impressions of Elinor! I also admit that I'd want to read Willoughby's Diary! After all, Willoughby is at least as interesting as Wickham!
© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews