Monday, December 8, 2008

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

I must admit first off that I judged this book by it's cover. I was walking by a display at my local library and it caught my eye. I picked it up and on the back it said, "Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen." I thought, "Well, I'll be the judge of that!" It turns out that Heyer has written more that 50 novels, the first being published in 1921, and is a well known historical novelist who writes mostly in the regency period. I can see why the comparison has been drawn to Jane Austen. The Reluctant Widow was every bit as witty as anything I have read from Austen but is refreshingly more fast paced. By that I just mean that the plot moved along nicely unlike Austen who sometimes, in my opinion, can get bogged down in description and set-up. Don't get me wrong though...Jane Austen is one of my all time favorite authors and I think that Heyer failed to create such layered characters as Austen.

The Reluctant Widow opens as Elinor Rochdale boards the wrong coach and ends up not at her prospective employer's home but at the estate of Eustance Chevoit, a dissipated and ruined young man on the verge of death. His cousin, Lord Ned Carolyn, persuades Elinor to marry Eustance as a simple business arrangement. By morning, Elinor is a a rich widow, but finds herself in the middle of housebreakers, uninvited guests and murder. I really enjoyed The Reluctant Widow and plan on reading more of Heyer. The characters just plain made me smile and the novel felt like a Jane Austen except without the brain cramp of trying to grasp the meaning of things. I give The Reluctant Widow 4 out of 5 Stars.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, that is just creepy. I just saw a review for this book on another site and added it to my GoodReads "to-read" account today, and now you just posted a review. Spooky. I'll definately have to check it out now.


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