So my favorite used bookstore must have scored from a library, because a trip this week landed me a cache of Georgette Heyer books.
The first I picked up to read was The Nonesuch, as I remember another reader saying it was her fave.
When they learned that Sir Waldo Hawkridge was coming, the village gentry were thrown into a flurry. The famed sportsman himself! Heir to an uncounted fortune, and a leader of London society! The local youths idolized “the Nonesuch”; the fathers disapproved; and the mothers and daughters saw him as the most eligible–and elusive–man in the kingdom.
But one person remained calm. When she became a governess, Ancilla Trent had put away romance, and at first she could only be amused at the fuss over Sir Waldo. But when he ignored the well-born beauties of the district, a shocking question began to form: could the celebrated gentleman be courting her?
What a wonderful (as expected) read! Full of fantastic, interesting characters and set in the countryside, we have an intrepid heroine romanced by The Corinthian. There are foibles and follies and hilarious interludes that bespeak to Heyer’s love of Austen.
The only drawback is a very abrupt ending which left me wondering if the final chapter hadn’t been ripped out of my copy.
Heyer is a master at conversation and description of people, and the Nonesuch features this in abundance. We get not only the provincial gentry set, but also a little bit of the town bronze in the form of the Nonesuch himself and his cousins.
While our hero and heroine are older and more reserved (except for the Nonesuch’s occasional lightly veiled barbs and quips), the younger characters sparkle with wit and sweet romance. I especially love/hate the Tiffany character who is a spoiled seventeen year old up to all kinds of wild shenanigans worthy of a young Scarlett O’Hara.
Its a quick read, and well worth it.
Again, I highly recommend Heyer for the younger women in your life. It’s a nice departure from the fast and furious teen soaps on tv, and really does instill some important lessons about behavior and courtship.