Mr. Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange is a re-telling of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It's told through the eyes of Mr. Darcy as he writes in his diary and fights his feelings for Elizabeth Bennet, and there are added or removed parts, of course, since the original was told from Elizabeth's point-of-view.
First Impression: So far, I like the story, but something is bothering me. I think...it's too easy. Maybe I like the story because, essentially, it's Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, just told from a different point of view. I'm sure that I'm wrong about this, but at this point it seems like Grange just read the novel once or twice and then wrote her own version. Some of her viewpoints on Mr. Darcy's emotions are interesting to me, but they don't feel like the result of an in-depth character study, which I think should be necessary when writing a piece such as this. And if I didn't know the author's name, I would still know this was written by a woman. I don't mean to nitpick, but right now it's hard for me to really get into the book. I'm hoping it grows on me as I go on.
Conclusion: I feel like I was unfair in my first impression, because it's obvious that Amanda Grange did her homework. There are many points in the book where she references the social decorum and fashionable styles of the time and place in which the story is set. But the homework she did was just that: the time and place in which the story is set. I still think she could have gone farther into the mind of Mr. Darcy. There was so little mention of things that would have been prominent in his mind--business, for example. Darcy's relationship with his sister, Georgiana, also bothers me. While it's obvious that he loves her and worries about her, I would expect them to be a bit closer than they are in Grange's story. (Speaking of Georgiana, how does she get over Wickham so fast? While the mention of him still makes her "uncomfortable," she seems to pretty much dismiss him as soon as her brother says jump. I would think that the subject would be more painful to her, even if she doesn't still love him, since she had spent so much time with him and planned to elope in such an uncharacteristic way.)
I should tell you that I do not read a lot of sequels or adaptations of classics, so my comparisons can only be to the classics themselves or to other, completely separate books that I have read. I probably enjoyed this book more than I would one about Mr. and Mrs. Darcy's romance after the wedding. Primarily, Grange's re-interpretation of Pride and Prejudice is a romance, where the woman challenges the man and he struggles to resist his love for her. It may not be quite as dramatic as all that, but that is the basic premise. I enjoyed the book, but I probably won't read it again.