Have you ever had a book that you put down, for whatever reason, and then picked back up six months or a year later to finish? The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer was that book for me. Whether it was the slow movement of the story, the language, or the time element to read it, I have been trying to get back to this book for over a year! I finally snapped into the action about half way through it though, and recently tore through the ending and can now say I've read my first Georgette Heyer novel.
Review: I struggled to get into The Grand Sophy in the beginning, as I didn't naturally connect with Sophy or her cousins. Like many free-spirited young ladies in novels before and since, Sophy is not only the kind of character you know is going to get into trouble, but who is also going to worm her way into everyone's hearts by showing them a different side of themselves. In short, it's time to hang on for the ride to see where she was going to take the story.
Although I liked the story with Cecilia, who Sophy coached into feeling okay about choosing who she cared for and loved (It was fun seeing Charles riled up and annoyed at Sophy's meddling ways), I didn't really start to get into the novel until she stepped in to help Charles and Cecilia's younger brother. He had gotten himself into a precarious situation and built up some debt with a Jewish financier who swindled him out of a bunch of money and some precious family property. (The bit about the swindler being Jewish had a good deal of Anti-Semitism built in that made me cringe, which really was a reflection more of the time period than anything.) In the end, Sophy faced down the swindler and bravely saved the family name and finances! From that point on, Charles sees Sophy less as an annoyance and more as her own person. I loved watching him change his opinion about Sophy, , as she surprised him with her loyalty and bravery, even if he never stopped being aggravated by her lively behavior.
If you like period pieces, Jane Austen's romances, or high society dramas, then Georgette Heyer seems to fit the bill. I've seen her name mentioned in British Chick Lit. before, as the main characters drop her name as someone they've read, but I wasn't aware of her work until now. Honestly, it was a fun read, and although slow to pick up speed in the actual story, the comedy in behavior was there and fun to watch from the beginning.
Many of these Georgette Heyer novels are being republished by Sourcebooks and can be found at most retailers. The binding is great and the covers really pretty as well. If you like Regency romance, and a good, clean read, these are the perfect fit!
*FTC Disclosure: This review was based on a copy of the novel provided by Sourcebooks.