I recently started taking the plunge into the world of Jane Austen sequel novels, at first I didn’t really think much of them until the one with the zombies came out then I just had to read that one and then decided to try out these sequels after all. The first one was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies which was a wonderful and great laugh. Next up, is Mr Darcy’s Diary which you could say, is my first real Jane Austen sequel book.
Mr Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange follows the same Pride and Prejudice plot but through the eyes of our beloved moody Mr Darcy. The book is written in epistolary format (ie; as a diary, naturally) so some who aren’t used to this may take a while to get used to. I haven’t read many epistolary novels much but this one flows evenly and it’s not choppy so reading it isn’t difficult or hard. In fact, it makes the experience nice and enjoyable.
I have to admit, I thought it was going to be a serious novel as, seeing it was through Mr Darcy’s perspective he’s going to be dour, moody and serious so it only fits that the novel should reflect that. It’s not entirely what I expected. I found myself chuckling and laughing at some parts especially at how Darcy has to look after Bingley most of the time. Bingley is shown in this novel as very scatterbrained, impulsive and comical (in fact, the exact opposite of Mr Darcy) and Mr Darcy is seen as having to steer him onto the proper road all the time. Although, when the story starts out when them arriving at Netherfield and Darcy completely hating being there with “country folk” I have to say I thought Darcy and Caroline were two of the biggest snobs I have ever read in my entire life. I couldn’t stand their talk and thought it was absolutely cruel of them to purposely separate Jane and Bingley like that. It made you almost want to punch Darcy in the face.
What gave me the chuckles the most was his constant denial of trying to not think about Elizabeth. In most of his diary entries in the beginning he swears to not think about her but then you see him mention something of her character, or how she looked. It was funny but at the same time it was interesting because it gave the reader the opportunity to see what Darcy was really thinking when certain climaxes happened to take place through the Pride and Prejudice plot. I loved his thoughts when he was around Mrs Bennet or even Mr Collins. I knew I laughed out loud at parts where he write of his opinion of these people. It was also nice to see more detail into his bantering back and forth with Elizabeth which is seen as almost a means of flirtation but in a very subtle manner that only both of them could understand.
The story stays close and highlights the most important parts of Pride and Prejudice with tidbits of what happens in between those events but what’s more important is towards the end it gives you a little more of what happened after the ending and I thought that was the most interesting. I liked how a tiny addition could make the novel even better. I liked how there were knots tied to characters I was curious about and how the happy ending was made even more happier.
Overall, Amanda Grange does a wonderful job with this book and I’m hoping fans of Pride and Prejudice will enjoy this book as much as I did. It was a great, entertaining and very light hearted read.
I give it an 8 out of 10.