I started reading Jane Austen books in junior high; honestly, the first one I read was Emma because I loved the movie Clueless. From there I read everything at the public library because I get obsessive about my books, but you all should know that by now! Along with enjoying Austen’s books (Persuasion is my favorite) I love the movies and BBC tv mini-series my best friend’s mom has on VHS. When I’m in the mood for chick-lit and gossip, I almost always choose Jane Austen over a more modern author.

Mr. Darcy's Diary

I got Mr. Darcy’s Diary from the same friend’s mom who owns the mini-series we watched a dozen times growing up. The premise of the book should be pretty obvious from the title…it’s the diary of Mr. Darcy, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.  Amanda Grange has a whole series of these books; the next one on my list is Mr. Knightley’s Diary. The book follows the same events as the original book, with a few additional scenes from Darcy’s life to provide more context for his actions.

As with all diary books I’ve read, this was a quick read. At 329 pages it only took a few sittings to read. The book begins in July, when Darcy has decided to remove his sister Georgiana from London for the summer. The entries about his sister were some of my favorite, for this book goes much more into their relationship (as imagined by Amanda Grange). Darcy loves his sister and agonizes over being both parent and brother to her, and he mentions her achievements in music and art constantly because he is amazed she has succeeded so well despite his bumbling attempts to raise her. The book then jumps to Darcy helping Bingley find a country home, leading of course to their introduction to the Bennet family. Darcy dislikes how uncultured the Bennet family is compared to his London friends, despite Bingley’s growing love for Jane and his own grudging admiration for Elizabeth.

The book faithfully follows to original story line and includes many of the conversations between Darcy, Elizabeth, Jane and Bingley. It was really fun at times to have Darcy’s point of view, having read Pride and Prejudice several times. His internal dialogue makes him seem much less like the jerk his is in the original, and more of a person who wants to do everything perfect to become a role model for his little sister. I rather like that interpretation of his character.

For those who have read and enjoyed Jane Austen’s novels, Amanda Grange’s series is a fun and enjoyable look through another character’s eyes. She does a very good job of staying true to the original storyline and characters, and I loved the inclusion of dialogue from Pride and Prejudice. It wasn’t groundbreaking, and people who hate when a great book or author is messed with will hate these books, but Mr. Darcy’s Diary was entertaining and that’s all I ask of my books.

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