Christmas Awards 2011

Friday, 2 December 2011

Colonel Brandon's Diary

Colonel Brandon's Diary by Amanda Grange
Published by Robert Hale of London

Now in paperback, this is the story of James Brandon's life before he met Marianne and the Dashwood sisters. At 18 he is idealistic and filled with plans for his life with Eliza, the girl he loves. However, his father needs an heiress for the estate and the elder brother Harry being a wastrel he determines to marry his ward to Harry
for the sake of the estate. Neither Eliza's feelings or James are allowed to matter and the doomed marriage goes ahead. Devastated, James enters the army and becomes a colonel until both his father and then his brother are dead and the estate is his. Although his search for Eliza is successful she is dying and he takes on the guardianship of her daughter.

The rest of the story is known to millions but this insight into the early years was beautifully done and I found it an enjoyable read. Grange tells her story in a way that is in keeping with Jane Austen's work, but, dare I say it, easier to read and therefore will appeal to some who would not pick up the original.

I did not want to put it down and have nothing but praise for this talented author.

I award the book five red roses for merit. Linda Sole

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