Is he not the rudest and most insufferable of men? My defence shall be to laugh at him, but the truth is the bee has stung my pride.
(from Lizzy Bennet’s Diary)
Quick summary: Lizzy Bennet’s Diary is a retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for younger readers through the diary of Elizabeth Bennet. Lizzy’s diary follows the original novel, albeit in simplified form — complete with illustrations, letters glued onto the pages that readers can open up and enjoy, and various mementos she collects along the way.
Why I wanted to read it: I loved Marcia Williams’ war-related, scrapbook-like diaries, Archie’s War: My Scrapbook of the First World War 1914-1918 and My Secret Diary, by Flossie Albright: My History of the Second World War 1939-1945, so when I saw that she had transformed Pride and Prejudice into a diary, I couldn’t resist.
What I liked: I loved the adorable drawings, and I loved opening up the letters. Although other authors have retold Pride and Prejudice in diary form, Lizzy Bennet’s Diary actually looks and feels like a real diary. I am always delighted by Williams’ creativity and how she makes me want to drop everything and start scavenging for little tokens to glue into a scrapbook or journal.
What I disliked: Lizzy seems almost childlike in these diary entries, going on about clothes, etc. I missed the intelligent, witty, and stubborn woman portrayed by Austen. There were times I wondered if this actually was Lydia Bennet’s diary.
Final thoughts: Although I felt that the portrayal of Elizabeth Bennet was a bit off, I appreciate that Williams retold Austen’s novel in a creative way without changing the plot. Lizzy Bennet’s Diary is a cute way to introduce young readers to the world of Jane Austen, with illustrations that are eye-catching and adorable.
Disclosure: I borrowed Lizzy Bennet’s Diary from the public library.
© 2014 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.