Rated Reads

Mr. Knightley’s Diary

by Amanda Grange

Rated: None

Here’s another appropriation of Austen. A modern-day writer uses the existing story of a novel for the scaffolding of her new novel. It’s kind of hard to mess up.

Amanda Grange serves Austen and Austen fans nicely with her take on Emma. She writes a diary of Mr. Knightley’s viewpoint of the matchmaking, mischievous young lady. Covered are the debacles Emma creates with Harriet Smith, Mr. Elton and Frank Churchill. Of course, the details aren’t shared in the same way because Mr. Knightley is not aware of Emma’s thinking until much later.

The Diary is entertaining, a pleasant, light afternoon read. It mostly works as a diary but sometimes seems to fall short a bit. It is obviously best suited to readers who know Emma well. It’s a bit hard to say whether Mr. Knightley’s Diary is too close to its “mother book” or a little too distant; it can sometimes be a little slow going and almost “reserved,” much like Knightley’s character seems. But Austen fans who are always eager for new material will most likely be satisfied.

Rated: None. No offensive material whatsoever.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • Mr. Knightley’s Diary
  • by Amanda Grange
  • Rated: None
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: