The Grand Sophy - Georgette Heyer A re-read, inspired by Nikki's delightful review Thanks, Nikki.
This is an enchanting novel, one of Heyer’s best, although it’s not as funny as some of her other novels. It invites multiple gentle smiles and some snickers, not uproarious laughter.
Sophy, a twenty-year-old daughter of a wealthy diplomat, has been raised by her father abroad. Now, he is sailing for Brazil and he asks his sister, Lady Ombersley, to give ‘his little Sophy’ a home in London, while he is gone. Sophy’s sojourn in London comprises the gist of the story.
Vivacious and self-assured, with a kind heart and an inventive mind, Sophy sweeps into her aunt’s house and turns its rather grim occupants on their collective heads, introducing joy and upheaval into their previously dull lives.
Sophy is a fixer, a troubleshooter, although her definition of the troubles needing shooting might be a bit unconventional. She doesn’t shy away from any unpleasant tasks, if she deems them necessary to achieve her goals, and she applies her considerable intellect and her sunny personality into improving the lives of all who come into her sphere. Even the dour Charles Rivenhall, the oldest son of the house and the undisputed tyrant of the family, can’t resist her charms or her meddling. She is an irresistible force, a gale of happiness, affecting everyone around her, whether they want it or not.
The romance of Charles and Sophy seems inevitable, despite Charles’s betrothal, but the author’s easy acceptance of the idea of a marital relationship between first cousins stinks. It’s appeared in Heyer’s novels before, and I never liked it. Perhaps during Regency, such alliances were acceptable, but now, they would be heavily frowned upon. Other than this one aspect, this light caper of a book was a pure pleasure to read.
As always, I’ve been on the prowl for new words, and I found one in this novel: rodomontade – bravado.
Recommended to any fans of light romance.