Customer Reviews


14 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From supporting character to a star in his own right!
Colonel Brandon is very much a second string character in Jane Austen's wonderful 'Sense and Sensibility', so I was curious to see how Amanda Grange was going to make a whole book out of him. But I've been ENTHRALLED. Not only has his back-story been fleshed out and made real and convincing, he himself has been brought to life in such a vivid, sympathetic, wholly heroic...
Published on 25 Aug. 2008 by Jan Jones

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A rather sensitive Colonel - but fun to read
Like with the other books of this kind by this author, I find that the characters are portrayed as a bit too understanding and sensitive than I imagine them in the originals. Still, it's fun to see the story from the other side, especially the parts where the diarist's back story is dealt with.
Published 17 months ago by Martin French


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From supporting character to a star in his own right!, 25 Aug. 2008
Colonel Brandon is very much a second string character in Jane Austen's wonderful 'Sense and Sensibility', so I was curious to see how Amanda Grange was going to make a whole book out of him. But I've been ENTHRALLED. Not only has his back-story been fleshed out and made real and convincing, he himself has been brought to life in such a vivid, sympathetic, wholly heroic fashion that I am at a loss to understand why JA herself didn't allow him more time in the spotlight.

Thank you for writing this book, Amanda. Meticulously accurate as it is to the original, I feel it more than deserves to be read as a companion-piece to S&S. In fact, I'm going to go back to the beginning and read it all over again.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of men, 8 Sept. 2010
By 
Sarah Powell "flippitygibbit" (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Thank you, Amanda Grange, for realising the heroic and romantic potential of Colonel Brandon, which is merely suggested in Austen's `Sense and Sensibility'. Also, thank you for the first `parallel novel', or `missing scenes' tribute to a classic story, which not only works, but is beautifully written and well researched.

Forgive my gushing praise of this delightful book, but every word is well deserved!

Though not a fan of Austen's books, the patient, caring and devoted Colonel Brandon instantly won me over, despite the fact that he is absent for a good part of the story! Modern, younger readers of `Sense and Sensibility' - if there are any teenagers who discover Austen for themselves, without having her `genius' thrust upon them at school - will no doubt appreciate Willoughby more and wish that Marianne could have married her first love, but on second thoughts, I think that Austen made the right match for her more passionate heroine in the end. Yes, Willoughby is young and exciting and charming, but he is also shallow and selfish. Colonel Brandon is older - not elderly, at thirty-five, just older than Marianne's seventeen years - but he is deeper, wiser and his love for Marianne far more constant than the pretty playboy. So what if he will be a father figure as well as a lover to her - a calmer, more mature Marianne will need both companion and suitor to keep her happy.

`Willoughby was nothing but a tawdry tale bound in gilt and leather, whereas you, dear Colonel, have in you the poetry of Shakespeare, though your cover is not so fine.'

Colonel James Brandon - he doesn't even merit a first name in Austen's story! - is worth waiting for. For the many other readers who, like me, fell for him in `Sense and Sensibility', but felt cheated out of his company, `Colonel Brandon's Diary' is the perfect complement to the original novel. Tempted by the recounting Brandon gives to Elinor of his tragic love affair, and the contrast of a once lively and loving youth with the older, heartbroken man he becomes, Amanda Grange obviously had to bring this `good man' to life. And such is the author's familiarity and expertise with Austen's characters, in her dialogue and descriptions, that she can employ them expertly in her own version. Mrs Jennings is just as funny, but Miss Grange also adds her own wit in the form of Brandon's Wodehousian aunt and Eliza's landlady (`And then she said, "Maybe he's got the smallpox," but as I said to her, "I hope it's not the smallpox. Just think of my sheets," so then she said he probably dropped off his horse, as gentlemen have a habit of doing.')

Whereas Austen also makes me laugh, however, only Amanda Grange's take on the story really touched my heart, or made me *sigh* with feeling. Reading this novel, which I absorbed in one day and will no doubt return to soon, I was struck with the realisation that Austen left the best scenes out of her book! Brandon's angry confrontation with his dissolute brother, his beloved Eliza's death and the tender love he has for her daughter, only to find that Willoughby has broken her heart and ruined her. The duel they fight, which is passed over in a line in `Sense and Sensibility', is all the more dramatic when experienced from the Colonel's point of view. His judgement sharpened by concern for Marianne - and perhaps a touch of jealousy - Brandon is able to see through the young pretender from the start: `he is all surface, with nothing underneath'. Willoughby's heartless treatment of both young Eliza and Marianne leaves him seething with rage, and the reader can only sympathise (and wish him good aim!)

The story starts in 1778, with Brandon studying at Oxford and returning to Delaford only to learn that his father has promised Eliza to his elder brother, and opens his diary and his heart to the reader through disappointment, travel abroad, a change of fortune, grief, and hope, to his marriage with Marianne in 1798. Grange captures his voice and inner thoughts so well, growing older and darker with experience, but also makes Marianne an appealing and (more importantly) willing match. The Colonel sees and admires in her the same qualities that make her my favourite Dashwood sister, who is `as honest and open as the day' with her opinion. And whereas Austen's last word on their union is rather depressing, almost forcing Marianne to marry him for his money, Grange gives Marianne a rousing speech bidding `adieu', once and for all, to Willoughby (`And for whom did I almost die? A man who did not deserve my love') and shows her growing love and admiration, long overdue, for Colonel Brandon. The final scenes are so intimate and touching that I have now officially substituted Austen's hurried summary for Amanda Grange's thoughtful and lingering courtship:

`You have loved and suffered, and yet it has not made you bitter, for you have the courage to love again. It is you who are the figure out of romance.'

Colonel Brandon and Marianne have both loved and lost, which is ironic for her - who proclaimed that she did not believe in second attachments - but makes them right for each other. Bringing them together slowly and with patience, instead of pushing them together in the last paragraph, is the difference between a May to December arranged marriage and one of the sweetest literary romances I have ever read. And the difference between Jane Austen and Amanda Grange.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Am finally re-posting my review from 2008. (Better than Darcy's or Capt Wentworth's Diary), 6 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I couldn't wait for the U.S. release so I again, like previous Amanda Grange "diaries", ordered it from Amazon U.K. As soon as it arrived, I started reading it and hardly put it down until it was finished. I believe this is her best yet -- yes, even better than Mr. Darcy's and Captain Wentworth's! Her Colonel is everything I imagined: passionate, honest, melancholy, honorable, thoughtful, heartbroken over his loss of his first love, Eliza... a romantic hero of the highest order. The first half of the book is entirely pre-Sense and Sensibility and dwells on his relationship with Eliza and the horrible events leading to her demise and his finding her. Knowing what is to come, all his happy entries were so bittersweet and every page seemed full of my self-inflicted angst. This part of the diary has an almost impending gloom about it. When he finally meets Marianne, well I wasn't sure how Grange was going to make the Colonel love her because until this point, the author has done an excellent job in getting me invested in his past relationship with Eliza and his resulting remorse. His soul really seemed lost, as if he were living only for the sake of living. Well, he does fall in-love with her, as we all know, and not because she is a substitute for Eliza. Unknowingly, she captivates him by her own natural charms -- and I believe, Grange successfully translates Austen's S&S through the eyes of the good Colonel. I wish there had been a few more entries after the marriage but all in all, a satisfying read that I happily recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Discover the real Brandon!, 31 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Colonel Brandon's Diary (Paperback)
Have you ever wanted to know the true Brandon, and what happened with his beloved Eliza? Or have you always wondered what that letter taking him immediately to London really said? Did you ever want to see more of Brandon and Marianne's courtship, and maybe even the proposal?

Well, this will answer those questions and many more besides! I was unsure about reading a story taking on the classic Jane Austen novels as I did not want them ruined. But, I am glad I took the plunge and read them as they did not ruin the originals, it gave some great background and new depth to the classic characters!

When reading Sense and Sensibility I never really appreciated Brandon and the real depth behind him. This diary brought him to life and he has shot up in my estimation! You see the real pain he has suffered and the passion lying just under the surface. This was my favourite diary because of how much I came to realise the depth to this wonderful, passionate man!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. Complete perfectly J. Austen's Sense and Sensibility, 4 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Colonel Brandon's Diary (Paperback)
Being a Jane Austen works fan, this book fills the questions about Brandon's past and the why he falls in love with Marianne. And if the reader never read the original work, it still gives a complete picture on the kind of live at those times in England. And peacefull comes in reading the fate of Brandon's protegee. In short, it's worth reading, enjoyable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not Amanda Grange's best effort, 24 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Overall it was an enjoyable storyline. Providing the missing background to the Colonel's life prior to the Austen original.
However, I felt that the character of Brandon didn't come across as very strong and in fact a bit too soft considering his time in the army. Eleanor too was disappointing, not the very capable elder sister. But it was worth a read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Colonel Brandon's Diary, 17 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A most realistic tale as it felt as if you looking over his shoulder as the story of his life is unfolded. A realistic and completely beautiful tale of sense and sensitivity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars A rather sensitive Colonel - but fun to read, 27 Sept. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Like with the other books of this kind by this author, I find that the characters are portrayed as a bit too understanding and sensitive than I imagine them in the originals. Still, it's fun to see the story from the other side, especially the parts where the diarist's back story is dealt with.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 25 May 2013
Always liked the character but this book gives the perspective from his view. The writing is so good it is as if Jane Austen had penned it herself. This book made colonel Brandon even more likable and honourable. This is the second "diary" i have read and they havent let me down.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 22 Mar. 2013
By 
Mrs. F. E. Brown "Fiona" (Cyprus) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a rare gift. I loved Sense and Sensibility, and Colonel Brandon was one of my favourite characters, so this was a rare treat. Written from Colonel Brandon's perspective, the book weaves in and out of the original Austen novel, which brings familiarity to the tale and gives the rest of the story credence. Superbly written; I sincerely recommend this to anyone who enjoys Miss Austen's orginal.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Colonel Brandon's Diary
Colonel Brandon's Diary by Amanda Grange (Paperback - 31 Oct. 2011)
£7.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews