Kathryn's Reviews > Powder and Patch

Powder and Patch by Georgette Heyer
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's review
Nov 27, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from November 23 to 27, 2011

Powder and Patch is an interesting change from Heyer's other books, and unfortunately, the change isn't entirely positive. Philip Jettan, the main character, is in love with a girl named Cleone, but she tells him she doesn't want him until he learns a bit more address; Philip disdains the frippery of the fashionable world. After a young man who does have the address Philip lacks pays court to Cleone, Philip hies himself to France to learn how to be a fashionable gentleman. He succeeds and eventually wins Cleone's heart.

This is a book where Heyer's rather sexist notions about romance really come to the forefront. I'm most fond of her older heroine novels, such as Black Sheep, precisely because they tend to deviate from those ideas, but even in those cases, the declaration of love almost always seems to require that a previously strong woman bend to a stronger male character. I can usually gloss over that bit, but in Powder and Patch, almost the entire last third of the book involves characters discoursing on how foolish women are and how Philip should use anything but frankness and reason to attempt to gain Cleone's hand in marriage. Granted, Cleone is pretty foolish, but who's to blame for that but the author?

I just can't really connect with the characters. I like Philip before he gains his town-bronze, but not very much after, and I don't like Cleone much at any point of the story. So it's pretty hard to enjoy this book.

(The large sections of untranslated French are also pretty annoying.)
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