The Austen Series: Amanda

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Amanda (The Austen Series) by Debra White Smith

So this book is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, set in modern times Australia

Under Capricorn

I know, Australia was an odd choice for a retelling of Jane Austen. I mean most people in Austen’s time wouldn’t really like Australians as they would see them as robbers, thieves, criminals, etc.

I also had a few issues with it being Australian as I am not scholled in Australian. Sometimes they way they talked I had no idea what it was about.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

But moving on…

Emmafakesmile

Amanda Wood Priebe (Emma Woodhouse) is a successful owner of a travel agency. She lives with her father and takes care of him as he is aging. Even though he doesn’t really need additional care.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

This was one of the problems I had with the book. In Emma, her father was destroyed with the death of his wife and became the biggest hypochondriac and worrywart you could ever imagine. He ages exponentially and this is why Emma want to stay and take care of him. She knows that he needs her or will fall apart, and that factors into her decision to never leave or ever marry.

Emma

In this he is confident, lucid, and perfectly al;e to take care of himself with maybe a little extra help. There is no reason why she feels the need to stay with him. In fact it is kinda weird…

awkward-look-on-face1

So Amanda’s best friend is her secretary Haley Schmitz (Harriet Smith). She is currently dating Roger a farmer, who Amanda feels isn’t right for her. Instead she wants to set her up with the new music minister, Mason Eldridge.

EmmaWoodhouse

Her other best friend is Nathan Knighton (Mr. Knightley) owner of a well to do department store. He is also the younger brother of the man that Emma’s sister married.

JAH_Mr-Knightley-Jeremy-Northam-jane-austens-heroes-9172970-1024-567

So the book mostly follows the story of Emma with a few differences.  Instead of a ball, Emma throws a yearly party at her agency. You know, small things like that.

No big deal

No big deal

So let’s go over first what I liked in this adaption.

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Nate Knitghton/Mr. Knightley

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I really liked the way that Smith wrote the Mr. Knightley character.

Say What

Yes. Unlike other adaptions, she really got into his head and showed aspects of the story from his point of view. Often authors only go so far, but I enjoyed how he interacted with Amanda/Emma and the other characters, how they built up his attraction, and his qualms about having a relationship with a friend, what if she doesn’t reciprocate? What if it goes bad?

Knightly proposel28o7_250

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Haley/Harriet

emmaharrietsmith

The Harriet character was also done well. Giving her a background of foster care and being moved from place to place established the perfect level of insecurity to blindly follow all Amanda’s plans with matchmaking.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

It makes sense why she would act this way.

I also like how you see her love for Roger has a few insecurities with him going away and focusing on the business, coupled with her own insecurities and Emma’s manipulations; all creating the perfect breeding ground for her to be swayed to another. But at the same time we see how she is able to quickly move past that heartbreak of Mr. Elton (as she didn’t really like him), and return to her real love of Roger.

HIMYM TedLove you and not tolerate quirks

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Now what I didn’t like:

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Colonel Wood Priebe/Mr. Woodhouse

I already talked about the Mr. Woodhouse-Emma relationship, so let me move on.

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Christian but Not Really

guardyourheart

Another thing I didn’t like about this book was that it marketed itself as Christian but isn’t really.

Ryan-Gosling-Oh-No-You-Didnt-Half-Nelson

In reality the the praying or  when they talk about their “relationship” with God is just a footnote or an afterthought.

Blah, blah

I mean write if you want to write a non-Christian retelling of Emma then write it. If you want it to be Christian then write that. Just don’t give me this lukewarm mess that is “Christian” but only a smatter. I mean go big or not at all, no in between.

No thank youhowaboutno

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 Amanda/Emma

Emma

So to our final piece, the one that carries it all…how did she do?

Emma_Buggin

I did not like the character of Amanda.

Something is not right!

Mostly because Emma just didn’t work in this modern setting.

No thank youhowaboutno

In Jane Austen’s work, Emma is from a wealthy class and doesn’t really have any friends her equal to spend her time with; especially with her sister and governess married. She is extremely lonely and bored.

Bones David Bored I;m bored boring

She begins manipulating, not out of spite, but because it is far interesting than another night alone with her dad, reading, just doing the same old thing. It doesn’t fit with Amanda having this other outlet, as she is great at her job and her work is something she loves. Australia is not as constrained by “social standing” so there isn’t the same level of alienation either. Instead of being bored and turning to matchmaking, she just comes off a controlling manipulator who only cares about herself.

incontrolchucknorris

It just didn’t work; instead of the character being lovable or enjoyable she just seemed cold and cruel. A real “Mean Girl”, if you know what I mean.

MeanGirls I know right!

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So in conclusion? I didn’t like it.

dislike hate you

I mean some parts were good like Harriet and Mr. Knightley’s modern counterparts, but on a whole the book was kinda boring and just didn’t work without a fantastic main character, Emma/Amanda.

No thank youhowaboutno

If I were you, I would just pass this one by.

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For more books based on Jane Austen’s work, go to The Dashwood Sisters Tell All: A Modern Day Novel of Jane Austen

For more on Emmago to Is This Really Just the Same?: Daring Chloe

For more Emma variations, go to Emma (1996) AKA the Kate Beckinsale Version

For more on bible verses, go to I’d Lay Down My Life for You: Pocahontas (1995)

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Oh Oh De Lally

fox robin hood

Day 25) Your Favorite Disney Classic

Robin Hood

Robin Hood (1973)

So this is one of the best Disney films. Many have not seen it, so it remains a beloved little known classic. It is also one of the best depictions of Robin Hood ever made. You know why? Because the person they use for Robin Hood is perfect:

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So just like The Great Mouse Detective this film also uses animals instead of people to tell the story, and each one was perfect for the character they are supposed to portray.

The film is told by the minstrel Alan-a-Dale, who is played by a rooster, of which is perfect because he is never quiet. He starts to tell us the story of Robin Hood who is a fox (literally and figuratively) and Little John, a bear. The two live in Sherwood Forest and rob from the rich and give to the poor. You see the people of Nottingham are not doing very well. King Richard (a lion as he was called Richard the Lionhearted) is in the Middle East fighting the crusades, and his brother John is in charge. Prince John sucks as a ruler (and sucks his thumb) and is heavily taxing the people. He leaves the  dirty work to the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf) and his posse. The Sheriff tries to catch Robin and Little John, but fails every time.

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So the film starts off with Prince John charging through the forest and stopping to get his fortune read by two Gypsy women. And those women turn out to be…you guessed it Robin and Little John. The two dressed up to rob whoever was coming through and decide to take down Prince John.

Sir Hiss tries to warn Prince John that the two can’t be trusted and sure enough Prince John gets robbed blind. The guards try and chase the two and fail, fail miserably.

We then see  Friar Tuck visiting the poor, such as an injured blacksmith. He tries to give him the earnings that Robin Hood won for him, but  who should come along? The big, bad, wolf Sheriff. Yep

jerk_alert32

 The Sheriff then goes to visit a family of rabbits, one of which is celebrating their b-day and he takes all their money, the rabbit Skippy’s b-day present.

How rude

But soon a blind beggar comes on the screen who is secretly…you guessed it Robin Hood. And he makes everything better

throw confetti HIMYM

Robin gives the rabbits some money, along with his bow and arrows, for  Skippy’s b-day present.

The kids scurry off to test it out, sending an arrow into Prince John’s castle grounds. Luckily the group doesn’t run into Prince John, but Maid Marian, Robin Hood’s sweetheart (also a fox) and her lady-in-waiting, Lady Kluck (a chicken). They all play act, with Marian discussing her love for Robin and hope that he feels the same way. Lady Kluck assures her that there is no way would he forget her. After all:

Absence Heart

Back with the boys, Robin and Little John get a visit from Friar Tuck who has told them about an archery tournament that Prince John is hosting. Prince John was enraged by how Robin embarrassed him and decided he was going to take Robin down. He knew that an archery contest would be impossible for Robin to resist. Especially if the prize was a kiss from Maid Marian.

perfect plan

Robin pf course can’t resist, no matter what they say and decides that he is going to go. But he comes up with a crazy plan to get in:

Its-so-crazy

So the two head out to the competition. Little John dresses up as the Duke of Chutney and Robin is a stork. Sir Hiss figures out who hey are, but Friar Tuck and Alan-a-Dale locks him up in a barrel of ale.

So Robin competes and of course, wins.

Robin wins, but Prince John unmasks him and is about to execute him when he has a sudden change of heart. He wants to let Robin go.

Say What

It turns out that Little John is holding him at knifepoint, only to be caught by the Sheriff. What follows is craziness, chaos, and comedy. 🙂

 So the group hurries off to the forest where they have a great time making fun of Prince John.

Robin and Marian also fall in love again.

pierce–soul–Persuasion

But while that is going good, back in the castle trouble is brewing. Prince John is angry. He decides he is going to heavily tax the people, taking everything. When he takes the poor box from the church, Friar Tuck becomes so enraged that he starts fighting the sheriff.

Them's fighting words!

Them’s fighting words!

The Sheriff arrests him and they decide to hang Friar Tuck to capture Robin Hood. I don’t know why but my sis and I would randomly say this all the time in his accent. “Hang Friar Tuck?”

Anyways, so this is when we get spend some time with Sheriff’s minions, Trigger and Nutsy. It’s hilarious. I love how Nutsy announces every hour and says “All’s well!”.

Robin decides that he is going to do a jailbreak and steal all the money.

 

Everyone escapes, except Robin as he went back to save a baby and missed getting out. Him and Prince John have a fight in which he manages to escape, but  causes the castle to burn. Robin leaps from a tower into the moat below, all the while being pelted by arrows. Little John and Skippy watch and think he is dead, only to see him emerge unharmed after using a reed as a breathing tube.  King Richard returns to England, placing his brother and his cohorts under arrest and allows Robin and Maid Marian to be married and leave Nottingham with Little John and Skippy in tow.

Love that movie!

For more on Robin Hood (1973), go to Snakes on a Post

For more on Disney animals, go to Wake Up Dad

For more on Disney animated films, go to The Boys are Back in Town

For more on Disney Royalty, go to And Away We Go

For more films based on books, go to I Could Kiss You

For more films in which the main characters disguise themselves, go to This Isn’t Love, This is Ecstasy

For more on Persuasion, go to A Letter of Love

For more of my favorite quotes, go to Beautifully Miserable