Mr. Darcy’s Diary: A Novel, by Amanda Grange – A Review

The Pride Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge (2013)This is my fourth selection for The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013, our year-long event honoring Jane Austen’s second published novel. Please follow the link above to read all the details of this reading and viewing challenge. Sign up’s are open until July 1, 2013.

In 2005 author Amanda Grange gave Pride and Prejudice fans what they had been craving for centuries—Jane Austen’s classic story retold entirely from the perspective of its iconic romantic hero—Mr. Darcy. It was certainly not the first novel to explore this concept, but Mr. Darcy’s Diary remains, after many other attempts, the best in a very crowded field of Darcyiana.

I first read Darcy’s Diary eight years ago when it was released in the UK. I paid a fortune for the first edition to be shipped to the US. I did not regret it. My copy retains its place of honor on my Austen sequel bookshelf, along with the five other novels in her Austen Hero Diaries Series that Grange has since produced. She has a large international following for her work which she has earned through honest homage and clever craftsmanship.

Writing a first person narrative of a classic hero who is a bit of a prig in the original story has its challenges. In Pride and Prejudice the reader sympathizes with the heroine Elizabeth Bennet in her dislike of Mr. Darcy. We meet him and draw our conclusions of his personality from her perspective—he is a proud and disagreeable man—we see why she thinks so, but we do not know why.

Image of the book cover of Darcys Diary, by Amanda Grange, UK ed. © 2005 Robert Hale Ltd Seeing the same events unfold from his eyes does not absolve him of his bad behavior, but as the narrative progresses, we are more sympathetic to his reasons. As we discover his inner thoughts and outward actions, our second impressions countermand his arrogant noble mien: we learn details of his chance intervention of the elopement of his sixteen-year old sister Georgiana with his nemesis George Wickham; we see his management of his soft-hearted friend Charles Bingley and learn why he is guiding him by the manipulation of his confidence and Bingley’s sisters; we see his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet spark and grow from his original cool intolerance to his admiration of her “fine eyes” and saucy impertinence—and his puzzlement of her brusque behavior to him.

Oh,’ she said, ‘I heard you before; but could not immediately determine what to say in reply. You wanted me, I know, to say “Yes,” that you might have the pleasure of despising my taste; but I always delight in overthrowing those kind of schemes. I have therefore made up my mind to tell you, that I do not want to dance a reel at all – and now despise me if you dare.’

‘Did I really seem so perverse to her? I wondered. And yet I could not help smiling at her sally, and her bravery in uttering it.’ p. 40

Close readers of Pride and Prejudice will recognize lines of Austen’s original dialogue (like Elizabeth’s speech to Darcy quoted above) interlaced with Grange’s new text. This ingenious co-mingling is seamless and we partake in many of the important passages where Darcy interacts with Elizabeth in the original novel, and then his private reaction. This works for this reader because Grange does not try to write like Austen in Elizabeth head, but as Grange in Darcy’s.

For those who are a student of character (like our heroine Elizabeth) it is interesting to observe our hero Darcy’s view of events from a male perspective. The whole Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus theory plays out beautifully and Grange takes full advantage of the differences in the sexes and how they think and react to the same scene when Elizabeth arrives at the Netherfield Ball.

I continued walking towards her. ‘I am glad to see you here. I hope you had a pleasant journey?’ I asked. ‘This time, I hope you did not have to walk!’

‘No, I thank you,’ she said stiffly. ‘I came in a carriage.’

I wondered if I had offended her. Perhaps she felt I had meant my remark as a slight on her family’s inability to keep horses purely for their carriage. I tried to repair the damage of my first remark.’” p. 51

Image of the book cover of Mr. Darcys Diary, by Amanda Grange, US ed. © 2007 Sourcebooks Clueless! There is some hope of improvement. As Darcy’s admiration of Elizabeth grows, it begins to humble his pride. While he is in Kent visiting his aunt Lady Catherine de Bourgh, we begin to see the change as he reacts to Elizabeth’s explanation to Darcy’s cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam of his behavior when they first met at the Meryton Assembly.

In her eyes, my refusal to dance became ridiculous, and I saw it so myself, for the first time. To stride about in all my pride, instead of enjoying myself as any well-regulated man would have done. Absurd! I would not ordinarily have tolerated any such teasing, and yet there was something in her manner that removed any sting, and instead made it a cause for laughter.” p. 78

Even though many will know the final outcome of the story, Grange keeps us in suspense by adding new scenes and inner thoughts that only Darcy would be privy too—and now we are too. What fan of Pride and Prejudice, and Mr. Darcy, could possibly resist reliving a cherished novel and walking in his shiny, black Hessian boots? I couldn’t.

5 out of 5 Regency Stars

Mr. Darcy’s Diary: A Novel, by Amanda Grange
Sourcebooks (2007)
Trade paperback (320) pages
ISBN: 978-1402208768

Cover images courtesy of © 2005 Robert Hale Ltd & © 2007 Sourcebooks; text ©2013 Laurel Ann Nattress, Austenprose

42 thoughts on “Mr. Darcy’s Diary: A Novel, by Amanda Grange – A Review

  1. Thanks for the wonderful review, Laurel Ann. I can’t believe it’s eight years since it first came out, it seems a lifetime ago and yet in other ways it seems like yesterday. Little did I know what I was starting! Readers have really taken the book to their hearts, which is so humbling and satisfying for me. It’s just come out in French as Le Journal de Mr Darcy, so a whole new range of readers are discovering it. It was one of those dream books to write, where I can’t bear to leave the keyboard and time stands still, so that I think I’ve only been writing for half an hour when in fact I’ve been writing all day and night. It was my first book to be published in the US, too, which gave me a whole new group of readers. There’s even an audio version http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_2?asin=B003LR7UU2&qid=1365582649&sr=1-2 I want to thank you for all the support you’ve given my books over the years. Writing them is only half the battle, publicising them is the other half, and Austenprose has been a big help, as have all the other bloggers who have spread the word.

    Like this

      • Thanks, Alexandra, I will! Laurel Ann, I don’t think I’m the right person to do the anti-heroes, I think to be true to their characters there ought to be a lot of debauchery and that’s not really my thing. Even in Wickham’s Diary I made him fairly restrained. But I’m sure someone else would do them really well.

        Like this

  2. When I first got a kindle the first books I needed to download were the works of Jane Austen. My search brought up a whole plethora of titles. I had no idea there was such a vast number of Austen-inspired books and one of the first ones I got was Mr Darcy’s Diary. You have inspired me to give it a re-read!

    Like this

  3. Being seriously into the Pride and Prejudice bi-centenary reading challenge, (I’m on Ch 7) this looks like a wonderful parallel read to enhance and captivate the elusive personality of one of fiction’s most admirable heroes.

    Like this

  4. I’m a huge fan of Amanda Grange’s books, my favorite being Captain Wentworth’s Diary, but I also loved Mr. Darcy’s Diary. I enjoy reading authors’ takes on these stories from the point of view of someone else, especially the men, since we only get to see what happens from Elizabeth’s point of view in the original, and I always wondered what Darcy was up to when he wasn’t around her.

    For my 4th Bicenteniary Challenge selection, I have a review of “Midnight in Austenland” (also posted on Goodreads):
    I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel, possibly more than the original. Charlotte is relatable character who is far from perfect, and the little forays into her past explained a lot about her character without distracting from the present story. I liked her complete awareness that most of what she was feeling at Austenland was based on a fictional experience she was paying for, but was still willing to play along. The Northanger Abbey-esque mystery was fun, and I absolutely loved when the mama bear in her came out kicking and screaming (literally!). I really hope Shannon Hale continues the adventures of Austenland.

    Like this

  5. I read a similar book a few years ago and used it to write a paper for one of my college courses. It was called “Darcy’s Story,” and it took much the same course as Ms. Grange’s novel seems to. It’s always interesting to imagine what is going on “behind the scenes,” as it were, when Elizabeth isn’t around, and even more fun to contemplate what the other characters might be thinking. It’s such a joy to read books like these that do just that! I’ll have to give “Mr. Darcy’s Diary” a try – perhaps as my June read!

    Like this

  6. Mr Darcy’s Diary is on my To Read list for this challenge and now I’m looking forward to it even more!

    I actually have two reviews this month (hope that’s ok,) because my original intention was to read a book per month, but I also found myself watching one of the adaptations so…

    Mr. Darcy’s Refuge: A Pride & Prejudice Variation by Abigail Reynolds: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/557386368

    Pride and Prejudice 1995

    “A collection of people in whom there is little beauty and no fashion. I do not feel the slightest interest in any of them and fail to see how you can possibly do so.” Mr Darcy ‘BBC Adaptation of Pride and Prejudice 1980’

    Harsh? Possibly, but it was my overriding thought as I once again sat through the television version that followed it fifteen years later. I have never liked the ‘95 version but it’s sometimes difficult to define why and I was also determined to be fair in my review and so I made a list of what I considered to be its good and bad points as I went through… I wish I could say that my opinion of it was changed by watching it again but unfortunately I found myself just as irritated as I was the first time.

    I want to acknowledge up front that most of what follows is opinion, because I am very aware that it is a much loved adaptation and that most likely the people reading this will have watched this version many times and simply do not view it in the same way, but it’s an honest opinion and if there is any goal here, it is not to convince anyone of how bad it is, but to persuade you that it is not universally loved and hailed as the definitive version, as I have heard it referred to more than once.

    I’ll start with some of the things I liked, it won’t take long. The length of the adaptation allowed them to keep in scenes that were missing, cut or amalgamated in others, including those with Maria Lucas. The sets, the scenery, the costumes, all seemed very much in keeping with the era and on some occasions were quite breath-taking. When you add to that the cast who, given some of their other screen credits, should have excelled in the roles, this adaptation was set up to be something that was beyond compare… and perhaps that is why it is ultimately so disappointing.

    As I said I’m aware that the actors can, in fact, act, so their performances must be attributed to the direction. The whole production is plagued with over-acting and the inability to deliver lines with any depth of feeling. Their postures are terrible, they cannot walk with any degree of elegance, and in short, come over as far more vulgar than was ever suggested in the book. Lydia and Mrs Bennett were the clear winners in this category but at times the others came close. For example, I know Elizabeth loves to laugh but she doesn’t need to do it loudly and at everything, her manners were better than that. The first proposal between Elizabeth and Darcy as well, is flat. They seem barely able to struggle through the dialogue, which has been hacked about from the book – presumably so that the writers can claim it as their own, but what purposes that serves, I don’t know – and in any case the words are spat out with venom instead of the dignity of suppressed anger. The only actors I would exclude from this criticism are Benjamin Whitrow (Mr Bennett) and Emilia Fox (Georgiana Darcy) who stood out above the rest as portraying their characters the way they should have been.

    One of the major reasons why it doesn’t feel like Pride and Prejudice to me is probably the script, the writer(s) were simply not Jane Austen, there was too much added, changed or missed out. What was left a lot of the time didn’t seem to match the promise of the setting, and lost some of the richness of the scenes. Little touches like the dog howling during Mary’s singing would have been funny in another instance but is terrible in what is supposed to be Jane Austen. By omitting some of the key points in Elizabeth’s speeches they actually make her appear a little mercenary, and the humour and irony of some of the things that are left in does not exactly shine through to dispel this. In fact in the scene with her father where she is defending her betrothal to Darcy, she does not tell Mr Bennett of what he did for Lydia and is on the whole, not very convincing.

    Then there are scenes that are closer in substance and dialogue to any other adaptation, but the lines are said with so little feeling that you are left believing that no one understood what they were saying. All the subtle humour is lost, which is a common failing with adaptations of Emma as well but in this it’s almost insulting to the audience as it makes me wonder if they thought their viewers incapable of understanding anything that isn’t spelled out in a completely over the top manner.

    I saved the worst for last of course, the added scenes. Ok, I’ll admit some of them aren’t that bad but were they necessary? One part I can genuinely say I liked was Georgiana Darcy’s interaction with Elizabeth. Georgiana does not seem quite as shy as she is portrayed in the book but it does give you a nice idea of how their relationship might develop once they are sisters. The other end of the scale is the wet scenes, no it’s not just the epic horror of Darcy jumping in the lake, they get Colin Firth wet as often as possible. I don’t have anything against Colin Firth but Mr Darcy dripping wet in that scene makes a mockery of it. Is Lizzy pre-occupied with what he must think of her, coming across her at his home after so recently refusing his offer of marriage? Of course not, she’s wondering why he’s watering the lawn! Except that both of them carry on as if he isn’t wet at all and neither do her Aunt and Uncle or his staff seem at all disturbed by it… If someone thought Mr Darcy needed to be made more sexy I’m very afraid they didn’t understand the book in the first place.

    The ’95 version of Pride and Prejudice will never be my favourite adaptation of this classic novel, and although it is by no means the worst adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, but here’s hoping the next one will be better.

    Like this

    • Oh, it’s so nice to see that I’m not the only one for whom this adaptation fell flat. I’ll stand beside you, sword drawn, to ward off the fans coming at you with torches and pitchforks. :)

      Like this

  7. I loved Amanda Grange’s Hero Diaries too. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    For the challenge, I just finished up Jennifer Becton’s short ‘Maria Lucas’ and I’m working on Mary Lydon Simonsen’s ‘A Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy’ at the moment. I’m at 9 books now which hits my minimum number to complete my goal, but of course I’m going to keep on reading. Here’s my link to my Goodreads challenge page where my books can be accessed: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1180009-2013-the-pride-and-prejudice-bicentenary-challenge

    And here are the last two reviews I wrote:
    3 Colonels http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/550825581
    Maria Lucas http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/579517124

    Like this

  8. As I have only just joined the challenge I read two books this week to catch up

    1. Pride and Prejudice by Austen
    http://tamaraausten77.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/pride-and-prejudice-jane-austen.html

    2. Mr Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange
    http://tamaraausten77.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/mr-darcys-diary-by-amanda-grange.html

    I have never read Pride and Prejudice spin offs before and the reviews of such books I hear such different accounts as puzzle me exceedingly! But neither the less I have chosen some and will make my own decision. The first being Mr Darcy’s Diary and I agree with you Laurel Ann I rwas not disappointed, I really enjoyed it!

    Like this

  9. Christmas with Mr. Darcy by Victoria Connelly – Kindle edition – Cathland Press 2012
    This is my fifth review for the Jane Austen Challenge
    The book opens with another Jane Austen Conference about to take place at Purley Hall the home of Dame Pamela Harcourt who is an established actress.
    Dame Pamela is well known for starring in television adaptations of Jane Austen novels. In her time she has played Miss Elizabeth Bennet and as the years wore on Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
    The setting is the present day and this particular conference is to be held at Christmas time. Snow is falling as the conference participants arrive. I felt a frisson of excitement and anticipation as I turned the pages on my Kindle whilst on holiday in Egypt and I dreamed of snow in England.
    From the start of the book it is obvious that the fact that Benedict one of Pamela’s brothers is also about to turn up at Purley Hall along with the people who will attend the conference does not fill his sister with joy. Pamela is wondering what is going on – why has Benedict come to stay for Christmas and as the tale unfolds I was also intrigued about whether this red- gold haired man is the villain of the piece.
    There are many twists and turns in the plot as the conference continues on at Purley Hall and comes to a happy conclusion.
    I liked the details of the bonnet trimming competition and this stems from one of the conference sessions.
    I found it interesting that details were so skilfully woven in about what it could be like to have Obsessive Compulsive disorder OCD and what it could be like to be alongside someone with OCD.
    As I was reading I was not sure about Mrs Soames, she seems deeply disagreeable – complaining about everything – who would want to be Mrs Soames? But then who would want be like Mrs Bennet or the Reverend Collins from the writing of Jane Austen? But could Mrs Soames have one redeeming feature please in a future piece?

    Cleverly the author Victoria Connelly leaves ample room for more novels in the series to blossom from this story and I look forward to reading more from her pen.
    Thank you Victoria Connelly for a good read.

    From this novel I learnt more about what could go on at a Jane Austen conference. This could be a good game for readers to devise conference sessions for a Jane Austen conference. How about an historical interior design expert talking about what would make Rosings an ostentatious dwelling fit for Lady Catherine de Bourgh and in contrast what would have to be in Pemberley living room to make it a well loved beautiful room for Darcy

    Like this

  10. I know people are able to link there goodreads acct., but I don’t know how. Sorry! So I’m posting my reviews here. I hope that’s okay. BTY I also loved Amanda Grange’s “MR Darcy’s Diary”. Also I know I put together a list for the challenge and I will read the list but there are sooo many good new books coming out that I might review one of them instead of one on my list. I AM HAVING SO MUCH FUN!!
    So here goes my review for this month. Next month will be a surprise read.

    “The Last Man in The World” by Abigail Reynolds.
    This is a reread for me and one of my favorites by Abigail Reynolds. I chose this book as one of my reads for the P&P challenge. I love this alternative because the angst and trials that both Darcy and Lizzy have to go through to find there true love for each other gets me everytime. I can’t help but cry when we come to the misunderstanding on both there parts. The story starts out with them coming to Pemberley after the wedding. Then we learn as Elizabeth is thinking back to how she got to this point, “Married to the Last Man she could be prevailed to marry!!” It seems that instead of incountering Col Fitzwilliam in the grove she meets Darcy and he gives her the aweful Proposal and before she could give her answer he kisses her! At the same moment the Col and some servants come along and witness the event. Now she must marry him for she has been comprimised. Darcy is unaware of her turmoil and so the story goes on. I truly love this book. The only other book that Abigail Reynolds has written that I love more is “The Rule of Reason”. She has rewritten this book several times but the original is my favorite. I recomend “Last Man in the World” to all Jane austen fans. A true GEM

    Like this

    • Hi Charlene, I am not aware of linking Goodreads to a WordPress blog, but many of the other participants are leaving a url link to their Goodreads reviews if that helps for future posts. Thanks for your contribution. LA

      Like this

  11. I’m reading Amanda Grange’s Dear Mr Darcy right now for the P&P Challenge and really enjoying it. She certainly knows how to make this familiar story feel fresh and new:)

    Like this

  12. This book is also on my so-heavily-and-constantly-revised-that-it’s-not-worth-updating list. (I’ve been a bit of an overachiever when it comes to this challenge, having already read more books than my original plan. Is there a category above Aficionada? Because I think I’m there.)

    I reviewed Bride and Prejudice, which I absolutely loved: http://aem-physicsgirl.blogspot.ca/2013/03/laughter-colour-light-and-sound-p-7.html

    I read Pamela Aiden’s Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman trilogy: http://aem-physicsgirl.blogspot.ca/2013/04/in-which-physicsgirl-was-in-middle.html

    And I read Kate Fenton’s Vanity and Vexation:http://aem-physicsgirl.blogspot.ca/2013/04/in-which-physicsgirls-mind-is-agreeably.html

    Like this

  13. I also own Amanda Grange’s “Mr. Darcy’s Diary”, and after reading Laurel’s wonderful review, I plan to re-read it for the third time! :-)

    Here is my April Challenge choice for the Bicentenary Challenge: “The Darcy Connection” by Elizabeth Aston, published 2008 by Touchstone, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.

    Ms Aston has created a fun sequel to P&P about the two daughters of Charlotte and the dim-witted pompous Mr. Collins, now Bishop of Ripon (a rather poor non-influential district). The eldest daughter is also named Charlotte and is very reserved and strikingly beautiful!… (which seemed to me a little dubious as we know that her mother is quite plain and her father very unattractive), but it needed to be so for this story… Charlotte is the goddaughter of Lady Grandpoint, an aunt of Mrs.Collins who had made a fortunate marriage to a distinguished gentleman from Bath. She has no children and has decided to take 21 year old Charlotte to London and introduce her into the high social circle there in the hopes that her beauty would attract a good match.

    Meanwhile, the younger sister, Eliza, the protagonist of the story, is named for godmother, Elizabeth Darcy, and has a more lively intelligence and spirit as does her godmother. ( I was disappointed that we never got to see the interaction of the two, because Elizabeth and Darcy were abroad for nearly the whole story.) Eliza has caught the fancy of the neighbor’s son, Anthony, and even fancies herself in love with him. The father is a squire and both he and his wife, disapprove of such a match for their son, and pressure Mr. Collins to send Eliza away. So she ends up accompanying her sister to town with their aunt where they have various experiences, with a delightful conclusion that includes a surprising and fortuitous appearance of Mr. Darcy right at the end, which I loved! :-)

    Like this

  14. Mr. Darcy’s Diary is a very good book and one of the first Austen sequels I bought when I first got into Austen in 2008 after watching some Austen movies on P.B.S. (when they had their Austenfest going) and seeing Pride and Prejudice (Knightley/Macfadyen version). I’ve read some of Amanda Grange’s other books too.

    Like this

  15. I was looking forward to reading this book (that is why it is on my challenge list) and now after reading your review I think I will change my plans and read it next month! It sounds very beautiful.
    My selection for this month was “Pride and Prejudice” BBC adaptation with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I think it is perfect! I loved every scene including those ones with creepy Mr. Collins! Not only the actors were incredible but also the screenplay, the costumes, the dialogues were fantastic. Every detail was as accurate as the book and utterly touching. The way Colin Firth looks “his” Elizabeth leave me speechless every time I see it. It is amazing the way they were able to describe perfectly well the emotions and the sensations Jane Austen talked about in the novel. I felt part of the story, it was like I was there, near Elizabeth struggling about the feelings she discovered for Darcy after reading his letter; next to Jane when Bingley looked her with his eyes full of love. I was there when Mr. Collins showed up in front of Mr. Bennet’s door; when Elizabeth faced Lady Catherine and I was certainly there when Darcy proposed to Elizabeth the first and the second time and every moment I was extremely happy to be there. This adaptation really gives me joy and hope, feelings I have every time I read dear Jane’s novels!
    Maria

    Like this

  16. This is my first post for the challenge, but I have already read 2 books for the challenge, well three, if you count Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have only read one Pride and Prejudice sequel in the past and was not impressed so I was a bit wary to read others, thinking I would be disappointed, but so far I have been pleasantly surprised. I do not have a blog so I will post my very brief comments about the books here.

    My first read was Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. Like I mentioned before, I came into the book with very low expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised. I liked the element of suspense and mystery that the author was able to create. It was just enough that I was intrigued to continue reading to see the outcome, but not so intense that I was afraid to shut off the lights at night and go to sleep. I felt the story moved along well, and it certainly had me trying to guess the ending (I was wrong by the way). I felt that the characters stood up to their original characterization. I felt some of the scenes with Colonel Fitzwilliam ware perhaps contrived a bit, not completely understanding his involvement with Wickham, but nevertheless, I felt the book was very well done and an enjoyment. I would have loved to see just a bit more interaction between Darcy and Elizabeth, as I am, like most P & P fans I guess, in love with them as a couple!

    My second book that I read was The Unexpected Miss Bennet by Patrice Sarath. I think I enjoyed this book even more then Death Comes to Pemberley. I thought it was interesting concept to have Mary Bennet the central character of the book. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first as she is one of my least favorite characters in Pride and Prejudice, but to be fair she is a very flat character in the book so it doesn’t allow me to get attached to her. In The Unexpected Miss Bennet, it was wonderful to see her emerge as a character with depth and development. I found myself really relating to her and her thought process and being surprised to find her a likable character. In so many ways–such as her awkwardness with strangers and overanalyzing situations–I found myself much attuned to her. Without giving too much away, I dreaded the moment when she agreed to become the companion of Anne de Bourgh, but it did redeem itself with some very pleasant scenes. I read some reviews online that thought the conclusion was a bit messy and tied up entirely too fast, and I would probably agree with that. I would have liked to see the same development in the ending as the beginning had. With all that said, I had to buy the book as none of my local libraries had a copy, and I am not disappointed or ashamed to have added it to my library.

    Like this

  17. Excellent review, Laurel Ann. I love Captain Wentworth’s Diary and just found Edward Bertram’s Diary sitting on my shelf (too many books!), but I need to read this one now as you’ve got me excited for it. Reading the re-imaginings of P&P through Darcy’s eyes is always time well spent. Amanda Grange really knows her Regency and I especially enjoyed her short “Mr. Bennet Meets His Match.”

    Here’s my review for “The Unexpected Miss Bennet” by Patrice Sarath:

    http://hodgepodgegallery.blogspot.com/2013/04/p-bicentenary-challenge-unexpected-miss.html

    Thanks!
    Jamie

    Like this

  18. I have been quite busy in April and May (I know we’re only one week in the month but I downed the entire Lizzie Bennet Diaries in one weekend!). In my attempt to read 12 books for the challenge, I was a little bit behind going into April, but I have more than caught up at this point, I’d say. No blog so, I’m afraid I will be posting a long comment…again.

    First I did read Amanada Grange’s Mr. Darcy’s Diary. I won’t bother to list the plot as it already listed above. The first few chapters/entries were a bit rough for me to read. I found them a bit slow and lacking in emotion maybe. I don’t know if I can explain why I disliked it at first. Perhaps it was the style, so different from when you read a novel. It was short snippets rather long chapters of information, and I think it took me a moment to try to get into that rhythm. Once I did, however, the book became much more enjoyable. I settled into the rhythm of reading a diary rather than a novel, and I enjoyed the glimpse into Darcy’s mind. Though I would not label it a favorite, and I doubt I will ever reread it, I was very much pleased and not disappointed I read it.

    I’ve also finally partaken of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Where to begin? This whole series is brilliant! I found myself early this last weekend with an hour of down time and no book in sight so I pulled out my smartphone and decided to experience The Lizzie Bennet Diaries after reading all the reviews from this blog. I was hooked. I continued to watch them all weekend, and stayed up much too late last night to finish them. The whole series is an excellent modern day adaptation of the story that I found refreshing. I didn’t know how natural the story would evolve with the other characters seeing it was Lizzie’s video blog, but I think they arranged the “chance” entrance of the other characters while se was recording very well. What I love best about the series is not only the creative way to tell the story, but that I experienced all the same emotions I did while reading the original Pride and Prejudice. I was excited, leery, angry, tense, and happy in all the same spots as in the novel. And the final Lizzie/Darcy reunion is just as much fun as the original. The one exception, which I am surprised to find, is that I love Lydia in these episodes, while I can’t say that I loved her in the book. But in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I think Lydia is exactly as Lydia would be in a modern day setting, only The Lizzie Bennet Diaries developed her character more than Austen and gave her the freedom to change. The question is not whether I will rewatch The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, but rather if I can contain myself not to spend this weekend doing so, and leaving my dirty house uncleaned for yet another week. :)

    Like this

      • Oh yes, you can tell now tell that I have an obsessive character trait. lol…I couldn’t stop myself from spending a whole weekend doing nothing else. But once I get to the middle of the Pride and Prejudice story when Darcy and Elizabeth and Darcy actually start to understand and like each other, I just have to finish it to the end–whether I watching it or reading it. Luckily, I didn’t have much scheduled for that weekend. ;)

        Like this

  19. Pingback: The Pride and Prejudice Bicentenary Challenge 2013 | Austenprose - A Jane Austen Blog

  20. It is a trust universally acknowledged that friendships forged over a love of Jane Austen last forever!

    Last night, we put together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle depicting Darcy’s 1st marriage proposal to Elizabeth.  “My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Jacinta’s cousin, Kristen, found this puzzle and of course, gave it as a gift to fuel our Pride & Prejudice passion.  We saved it so we could assemble it together.  Puzzle has now been glued and will be framed for display. 

    Other favorites quotes on the puzzle include:
    “A person who can write a long letter, with ease, cannot write ill.” – Pride & Prejudice
    “There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.” – Jane Austen

    Like this

  21. Enjoy Shannon’s writing and chose Return to Longbourn for April’s P&P read and review :

    Superb!
    Shannon Winslow’s excellent understanding of Jane Austen’s characters and stories reflect in her knowledgeable continuations of Pride and Prejudice.

    A pleasure to read accurate representations of life style, dialogue and
    spiritual aspects. Return to Longbourn paints a realistic and appealing picture of Mary that includes authentic character development and romantic twists enough to please this reader.

    I enjoyed Shannon’s picturing Mary as an independent and capable young woman with skills and fortitude as we’d expect, but also harbours unexpectedly romantic responses. The conflicts and confusion of the story were both intriguing and suspenseful. No spoilers here; don’t worry. My interest and emotions were fully engaged.

    Would I recommend this book? In a minute! Grab a copy and settle in for a read that will capture you right through to its deliteful conclusion.
    Thank you, Shannon, for another reading treat!
    Kudos on your cover art !

    Like this

Comments are closed.