Tara Chevrestt's Reviews > The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
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Oct 30, 09

bookshelves: england
Recommended to Tara by: CLM
Read in October, 2009

This is my first Heyer novel. By the mostly rave reviews I see for her, I am wondering if I picked up the wrong one to start with. It was amusing, I will give it that. However, the prose was incredibly pompous. I had to get out my dictionary for at least one word on every page. Take this sentence for example: "and the dutiful presentation to her erratic and far from grateful spouse of eight pledges of her affection had long since destroyed any pretensions to beauty in her. Her health was indifferent, her dispostion compliant..." Are all those big fancy words really necessary?? I still cannot figure out the full meaning of that sentence. Not to speak ill of the dead, but throughout the entire novel, I was asking myself, "Who was Heyer trying to impress?"

Anyway, once I threw the dictionary away and just started ignoring the long, impressive words, the story was not bad. Sophy arrives to live with her aunt, uncle, and numerous cousins bringing with her an entourage consisting of a very skinny maid, a grumpy groom, a dog, a horse, a parrot, and a monkey. She then proceeds to disrupt her relatives' lives but in a good way. She meddles in everything. Sophy's female cousin, Cecilia is in love with a very dimwitted poet and the family has other marital plans for her. (So does Sophy!) Another cousin, Charles is set to marry a most dour lady (not if Sophy can help it!). Hubert has a gambling problem and Sophy runs into the situation with guns drawn. (Literally!) Basically, Sophy fixes everyone's problems. Good story, lots of fun, but no romance really. I am unclear as to why this would be branded a regency "romance".

Besides the prose, my issue with this book is the style. The entire story is told via people's gossip and frivolous bantering. Sophy rides in the park, meets up with about four other people and they talk and talk and talk. I like to "get to know" the characters in a book and this did not give me that opportunity. It never once entered a character's head or told us their thoughts. It was all pompous chatter with big, amazing words.
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Reading Progress

10/29/2009 page 20
5.38% "I'm a bit put off by all the big fancy words. "Her health was indifferent, her disposition compliant.." And that is a very short version." 2 comments
10/29/2009 page 141
37.9% "Once I said "screw it!" and didn't bother looking up words in the dictionary anymore, it got better. I'm liking it, not loving it."

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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message 1: by CLM (last edited Oct 30, 2009 07:32PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

CLM Regencies are an acquired taste and perhaps just not your thing. In particular, as I mentioned, Heyer is known for her "period" slang. Don't worry, if you don't like comedy of manners, there are lots of other authors and genres for you to enjoy.


Tara Chevrestt The problem is, I have ten of her books sitting here waiting for me to read. LOL. I got a real good deal for them on ebay.. but now, I am balking.


message 3: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I only tried one Heyer, The Conqueror which I did not finish. It's not one of her regencies though and do intend to try at least one more one of these days.


message 4: by Lance (new)

Lance Greenfield It sounds like I would do well to put Heyer well down near the bottom of my books to read pile!


message 5: by Janet (new)

Janet It will not be on my list of to read books either.



Tara Chevrestt I think one has to be very well educated to understand them. LOL. I was pretty good in literature when I was in school but I had trouble. I'm sticking with Cookson. I prefer to read about the poor for one thing. I hate rich snobs. LOL


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan Have you ever read Jane Austen?


Tara Chevrestt Yes, not fond of the whole JA thing.


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