Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Wickham's Diary

Wickham's Diary by Amanda Grange

Publication Date: April 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Austin Inspired Fiction
Pages: Paperback, 208pp
ISBN-13: 9781402251863

(Received for review from Sourcebooks)

Purchase: Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

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Excerpt from Wickham's Diary

Synopsis (Book Blurb):

11 July 1784 Why should I be beneath Fitzwilliam? I am just as handsome as he is; I am just as intelligent, even though he works harder at his books; and I am just as amusing; in fact, I dare to say I a great deal more amusing for Fitzwilliam is so proud he will not take the trouble to entertain other people. Yet although he is no better than me, when he grows up eh will inherit Pemberley and I will inherit nothing...

HE WASN'T ALWAYS THIS COLD-HEARTED... George Wickham had everything going for him. He's handsome, charming and sincere. Old Mr. Darcy loves him like a son. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the companion of his youth, is powerful and moral. What are the forces then that would turn this young man's destiny from one of promise to one of treachery and villainy? And could it happen again?


Lover's of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice will enjoy Amanda Grange's take on George Wickham. Grange steps into the mind of Wickham in Wickham's Diary and gives the reader an idea of how Wickham and Darcy's relationship changed over the years. Readers will love her insight on the influences and reasons for Wickham's resentment and eventual loss of friendship with Darcy. If you enjoy Austen inspired fiction this one is for you!

Amanda Grange has taken the character of George Wickham from Pride and Prejudice and really expanded the readers knowledge of him in her novella, Wickham's Diary. Using the diary format, readers will get to know more about Wickham and how he and Darcy came to be together. Darcy being the son of the owner of Pemberley and Wickham being the son of the steward shows the reader the stark differences between classes during this time period.

We pick up Wickham's story at age twelve when he is already beginning to show signs of resentment toward Darcy. Wickham's mother influences him greatly and encourages him in feeling less than friendly towards Darcy throughout the novella. She plants the seeds in his mind and he waters them. She suggested that because of his station he would need to marry an heiress to get ahead and Wickham chose Georgiana Darcy because of his resentment of her brother.

I thought the author showed great depth and understanding in developing Wickham's character. She showed how a young boy went from being a trusted companion to being a rival. I thought she brought out the reasons for Wickham's behavior in a very insightful way. The diary was easy to read and even though this book is a novella, because of it's length, it gives the reader a real sense of who Wickham was and why he did the things he did.

I especially enjoyed the section about the years that Wickham and Darcy spent at Cambridge and how they differed so strongly in how they lived their lives. Darcy being sedate and moral while Wickham went in the totally opposite direction, with gambling, women and just about everything else. It was one of those situations that we find ourselves in sometimes. We try and try to help someone and when it becomes obvious that there is just nothing else we can do, we have to move on and I think Grange showed why Darcy became so strongly opposed to Wickham, especially after his treatment of Darcy's sister.

This was just a great little book, which brought Austen's original character of Darcy into better focus. I thought Grange did an outstanding job with this one and I look forward to reading her other diary format novels based on Austen's work.

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I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Amanda Grange is a popular author of historical fiction in the UK. She specializes in creative interpretations of classic novels and historical events, including Jane Austen's novels and the Titanic shipwreck. Her novels include Mr. Darcy's Diary, Mr. Knightley's Diary, Captain Wentworth's Diary, and Mr. Darcy, Vampyre. She lives in England.


The Insouciant Sophisticate said...

I loved Grange's interpretations of Knightley and Wentworth and while I was originally skeptical of looking at this "villain," it looks just as enjoyable!

Canvas bags said...

The diary was easy to read and even though this book is a novella, because of it's length, it gives the reader a real sense of who Wickham was and why he did the things he did.