Friday, August 30, 2013

Book Review - The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

I've been looking forward to catching up on my reading for a long time. Now that the Bar Exam is over and I'm stuck in this horrible waiting period for my results, I've been craving books that are light and frothy to keep my mind off things. I'd heard a lot of positive things about Georgette Heyer, and luckily, her book The Grand Sophy lived up to the hype.

When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt's family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she's done, Sophy has commandeered Charles's horses, his household, and finally, his heart.

This was such a fun romp! I loved the attention to historical detail, from the clothing to the slang, which really set the mood. The characters were very real and funny. While Jane Austen had many witty and funny moments in her books, Heyer takes it to another level in The Grand Sophy. I would love to see this made into a film - the dialogue crackles with humor and personality, and the ending, while happy and predictable, still satisfied.

I wouldn't characterize this as a romance, although many would. While Sophy gets her man at the end (as do many other characters in the book), there's far more comedy than romance in this book. Since I love to laugh, and schmoopy sentimentality often makes me cringe, this book was a great balance. I wish I'd found Heyer's books as a teenager. 

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