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Amanda (Thorndike Christian Romance) Hardcover – Large Print, 2 Mar 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is sympathetic to Austen's novel of matchmaking and misguided intentions, but also works well as a stand-alone romance, light and frothy. Amanda's motives in protecting her friend's interests are understandable, and the tangled web of who likes who generally holds up, apart from the 'illicit' pairing of Franklyn and Janet, which isn't really explained.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I've always enjoyed Jane Austen's stories and so far have enjoyed Debra White Smith's modern retelling of them especially the Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility remakes. Emma is one of Austen's most well known stories and it ranks as my 3rd favorite. So I was looking forward to reading this book to compare it. I did enjoy seeing the story with all the elements from the original novel incorporated. I liked learning about the Australian culture as well. I did fell though that characters were very stock and I didn't get to understand them completely. Amanda's reasons for Haley ditching Roger are very poor and Haley seems very weak not to stand up to her. Meanwhile Nate never seems to be able to stop being at a loss of words in front of Amanda which got annoying after a while. The main problem I have about books that "retell" another story is that the real book will get mentioned in the retelling. In this book, the characters bring up the story of Emma several times. Why then can they not see that what is going on in their lives is EXACTLY what happens in the book? I mean don't the characters see that everything is completely parallel to the story? This books was also the hardest of the series to picture in a modern setting. I think, though, that the reason may be because I had just watched the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma right before reading this book.
This book was an enjoyable read. If you liked the other Austen books, pick this one up.
The reason I like Jane Austen's "Emma" is because Emma is so sure she knows what love is (for other people, mind you), that she doesn't recognize it until it hits her (and Mr. Knightly) hard at the end. I also love that her friendship with and scoldings from Mr. Knightly help her grow into someone worthy of that fine gentleman's love. In Amanda, Nate (Knightly) realizes that he loves Amanda from the start of the book and is frankly a wuss in how he handles it. Amanda is also interested in Nate from the start (though she tries to deny it) instead of realizing it only at the end. Also, Amanda doesn't grow up a lick in this book. I'd give this book about 1.5 stars in how closely it sticks to the heart of Jane Austen's book.
However, if you take this book on it's own and don't compare it to Emma, I'd say it's a very funny story and better than many Christian romance stories out there. I do find it silly that Amanda and Nate, these life-long friends, don't say, 'gee, I love him/her for their fine character qualities' more than once but obsess about their physical attraction throughout the book. I can understand focusing so much on the physical looks if you just met the person but isn't that a bit odd for life-long friends? However, I'd give this book 4 stars when ignoring any comparisons with Emma.