Mr. Knightley’s Diary (Jane Austen Heroes #2) by Amanda Grange
So I read this book mostly because it was recommended to me and because I am trying to review every book based on Jane Austen’s works. However, I wish I hadn’t read this as in my opinion this book sucked!
Now this should have been a hit. We have the handsome, kind, wise, amazing Mr. Knightley…
And the hilariously comedic story Emma.
It should have been an instant win. But it wasn’t.
And why? What went wrong? Well I will tell you.
So my biggest issue with this book is how they present the character of Mr. Knightley. First he is so formal, his writing stilted, and it is just a rehash of Emma.
I mean I understand that it is his diary, so of course the writing won’t be on the same level as a novel, but come on it’s his diary! It should be so interesting it is impossible to put down.
As a diary there should be more leeway and less formality as this is a diary. It’s not like letters which were read aloud and basically the TV of the 19th century, this is a diary! It’s private, it’s an entrance into his mind, and there should be more there. It shouldn’t be so dry and boring. And it should not be a rehash of the novel.
As a diary and a look into the mind of Knightley, we should get more development of his character. For instance, Mr. Knightley is the older brother, has the estate, is making enough money to have married years ago, but yet is single.
Eventually we discover that he is in love with Emma, but was he at the beginning of the novel? Or did it develop over time? If he wasn’t aware of his feelings at the beginning, why didn’t he marry? Was there no one he was interested in romantically? Had he just been focused too much on his land? Did he have a bad experience with a woman or witnessed a bad marriage that has made him cautious? Does he just not want to upset his routine?
We don’t know, but as the diary of Knightley you could chosen any of those answers and built up his character more. But what does Amanda Grange decide to do?
“And now [John and Isabella Knightley] have five children. It is, perhaps, time that I too, thought of taking a wife.”
Is that the extent of character building you are going with? BORING!
Take for instance, An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aiden. In that she followed Pride & Prejudice exactly, but added a few things to Darcy’s character to broaden out “his version of the tale” along with allowing us a more complete picture. We saw more interaction with his sister, Mr. Bingley, etc.; giving a bigger picture of Darcy.
So I did not like this book and am not looking forward to reviewing her other diaries. But I will for all of you out there. Ah, my love for my followers.
For more on Emma, go to Unsung Austen Men: Mr. Weston
For another book inspired by Jane Austen, go to Pride & Prescience (Or a Truth Universally Acknowledged