Georgette Heyer Fans discussion

30 views
Group Reads > Penhallow Group Read June 2017 Chapters 1-11

Comments Showing 1-50 of 64 (64 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
Hi everyone & welcome to our June read!

I have read this title maybe 3 or 4 times, all over 30 years ago. This is my copy's cover Penhallow by Georgette Heyer although mine is a different publisher.

Please remember no spoilers or use spoiler tags - we don't want to spoil a first read for anyone!


message 2: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I'd forgotten how vividly Heyer paints all of these characters! Within just a couple of chapters she gives us their looks and temperaments in a way that makes them all instantly visible to us. And considering just the sheer number of characters, that's no mean feat.


message 3: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1275 comments The vivid characters are certainly a strength of Heyer’s! Though I felt there were perhaps a few too many in this story. One thing I am finding tedious is the overlong descriptions of rooms. They are clearly intended to reflect and illuminate the rooms’ inhabitants (Penhallow, Rosamund), but they just go on forever, and that whole idea of objects representing the people who own them seems facile to me.

As an index of how few times I’ve read this book, my copy is a 1975 Bantam Books edition with a highly improbable female (she can’t possibly be any of the characters except perhaps Loveday, but she’s wearing a full-length gown which I’m sure Loveday never did) on the cover, looking away from a house that combines Elizabethan and Neoclassical elements.


message 4: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I did notice the description of the hall, Abigail, with Rachel's portrait on one wall, and various miscellaneous stuff all around the room. The clutter definitely represents the clutter of people in the house, from the bowl of flowers to the hunting crops, the good chairs to the hideous desk. It almost seems as though Heyer had an eye to scripting this for the stage!


Barb in Maryland | 647 comments I know I read this eons ago, because I have a distinct memory of hating it! I didn't like any of the characters and I was bored to tears with all the descriptions. So, it has been 40+ years and I'm willing to give it a go. I have the fairly recent Sourcebooks trade paperback from the library.
I have to finish two other books, however, before I can devote any attention to GH. So I will be a tad late to the party.


message 6: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "I know I read this eons ago, because I have a distinct memory of hating it! I didn't like any of the characters and I was bored to tears with all the descriptions. So, it has been 40+ years and I'm..."

So funny that you and Abigail remember the descriptions - I didn't at all!


message 7: by Sheila (in LA) (last edited Jun 01, 2017 12:32PM) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 341 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "I know I read this eons ago, because I have a distinct memory of hating it! I didn't like any of the characters and I was bored to tears with all the descriptions. So, it has been 40+ years and I'm..."

I know I tried to read it many years ago, being a lover of mysteries, but gave up after a few chapters. I think I was put off by the unlikable characters. But I read the first chapter last night and found myself intrigued.

I was also struck (again) by the author's ability to make such a large cast of characters so easy to keep straight (including identical twins!)

The bit with the shoes in the first chapter reminded me a little of a chapter in Murder on the Orient Express, when Hercule Poirot is going through the suitcases of the suspects and we find out the kind of dressing gown each one owns (very telling, of course).

I'm reading a hardcover from the library with a plain black cover. I'm not sure it ever had a dust jacket--why don't publishers do more with these books, they have so much potential!


message 8: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I just saw the trailer for the new Kenneth Branagh Murder on the Orient Express, coming out in November, Sheila!


message 9: by Susan in NC (last edited Jun 01, 2017 02:02PM) (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Totally off topic and sorry to inject something personal, but I am going to skip this month's read as I am having surgery next week and find I am up to only the fluffiest of reads! I will catch up toward the end if June if I'm able, or hopefully the July read - enjoy, everyone! I'll check back in when I can, I look forward to the discussion as always. BTW! I was going to read the Kindle version on Scribd! And I will continue if I can comfortably do so by end of June.


message 10: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Karlyne wrote: "I just saw the trailer for the new Kenneth Branagh Murder on the Orient Express, coming out in November, Sheila!"

Ooh, I hadn't heard about this, can't wait - thanks, Karlyne!


message 11: by Sheila (in LA) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 341 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "I just saw the trailer for the new Kenneth Branagh Murder on the Orient Express, coming out in November, Sheila!"

Ooh, I hadn't heard about this, can't wait - thanks, Karlyne!"


I second what Susan says!


message 12: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1275 comments Good luck with your surgery, Susan! I totally get you about fluffy reads—I’m already collecting them for after my back surgery in September.


message 13: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote: "Totally off topic and sorry to inject something personal, but I am going to skip this month's read as I am having surgery next week and find I am up to only the fluffiest of reads! I will catch up ..."

Well, it's not exactly upbeat reading! I'm hoping to get it read before I go to Rarotonga as I can't imagine wanting to read it over there!

Good luck with your surgery - hope it all goes well!


message 14: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Thanks so much, ladies - it's a brain tumor, but thank God benign, but it's got to come out. They've told me I'll lose hearing in my right ear, but as I'm sure all of you can understand, my first concern is, when can I read again?! Enjoy Penhallow, and I'll be back as soon as possible - Abigail, so sorry about your back surgery, I'll be sending positive energy and thoughts your way, reet enough! Carol, have a great trip - where is Rarotonga?


message 15: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Wow, just googled it, looks fascinating! Do you have a specific itinerary, I see there is a conservation area, do you think you'll see that? Or do outdoorsy stuff, like swimming, snorkeling and hiking?


message 16: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote: "Thanks so much, ladies - it's a brain tumor, but thank God benign, but it's got to come out. They've told me I'll lose hearing in my right ear, but as I'm sure all of you can understand, my first c..."

Oh my! Keep safe! Will this be a total loss of hearing in the right ear or reduced hearing?

(I'll talk about Raro in the Royal Escape thread)


message 17: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Yes, total loss in right ear but left ear is fine - they were surprised I still had total hearing in both ears, apparently loss of hearing is how they often diagnose these, as they are benign and slow-growing. As a result of the surgery, however, I will lose the hearing in the right ear. I'm just grateful we caught it and it can be resolved - and one of the best neurosurgeons is right here in NC!


message 18: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
Susan in NC wrote: "Yes, total loss in right ear but left ear is fine - they were surprised I still had total hearing in both ears, apparently loss of hearing is how they often diagnose these, as they are benign and s..."

Well that is a blessing.

My hearing loss is waaay worse in the left year (I only recently have needed a hearing ear for the right ear. The worst thing is people trying to talk to you while you are on the phone (why do people do that anyway?)


message 19: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Very true - why talk at someone while they are on the phone?! Yes, I am truly grateful things are working out this way.


message 20: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Susan, you're right to leave this and head for the fluffier reading - Penhallow doesn't have a fluffy, cozy bone its body!

We'll all be looking forward to your return, too.


message 21: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1573 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Thanks so much, ladies - it's a brain tumor, but thank God benign, but it's got to come out. They've told me I'll lose hearing in my right ear, but as I'm sure all of you can understand, my first c..."
Susan I don't know if you have any beliefs or not but I'll light a candle for you. Hope all goes well and look forward to your comments when you're back with us again.


message 22: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Karlyne, I picked up on that when I read the first few pages - I couldn't help it, the description of the servant polishing shoes in the shed among his dark thoughts had me thinking of Cold Comfort Farm and what was going on in the shed - I knew I wasn't in the right frame of mind!

Teresa, I was raised Catholic in Chicago and my dear mother would be thrilled at the idea of a real Irishwoman in Ireland lighting a candle for me - as am I! She was able to visit a few European countries with my sisters years ago and thought Ireland was the most beautiful place on Earth - I know, you probably get that a lot from American tourists, but she meant it. Thanks very much!


message 23: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I might have to agree with your mother, Susan. I have thousands of pictures of Ireland (and their gorgeous cows!), and, if my kids had been with me, I probably never would have left!


message 24: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments I hope to get there myself someday!


message 25: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I seriously thought that the murder occurred early on, but I just finished Chapter 11, and everybody is still hale and hearty. However, Heyer is certainly scattering motives about with a lavish hand.


message 26: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1573 comments Well if you ever make it over Susan I hope we'll get to meet up. I live in the countryside so you'll see plenty of cows as there is a farm across the fields and the cows are on show everyday.


message 27: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Sounds heavenly!


message 28: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1573 comments :):) and when the farmer is spreading slurry on his fields the smell gets rid of heavenly fairly fast!! Some days I just have the washing out on the line and have to bring it all back in again straight away. Oh well there's ups and downs where ever you live.


message 29: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments LOL!


message 30: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Susan in NC wrote: "LOL!"

We used to live within a couple of miles of a feed lot- which is why I only buy grass-fed beef from a cousin of a friend these days... That smell just ain't natural!


message 31: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments HA! You are hilarious!


message 32: by Critterbee❇ (last edited Jun 02, 2017 07:52PM) (new)

Critterbee❇ (critterbee) | 2572 comments Mod
This is my second read, on my kindle this time, an ebook version checked out from my library.

And Susan, take care of yourself! Hope to have you back safe and happy soon.


message 33: by Louise (last edited Jun 03, 2017 11:34AM) (new)

Louise Culmer The early chapters are heavy going, like Cold Comfort farm without Flora Poste to lighten things up. but i've just got to the end of chapter eleven, and the arrival of aubrey has brightened things up, he's very amusing.


message 34: by Susan in NC (new)

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3335 comments Thanks Critterbee, will do!

And Louise, good to know there will be humor and amusing characters further on, once I shake the Cold Comfort Farm vibe of the first few chapters!


message 35: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
It's like I remember it - which isn't a good thing.

If I don't finish before I go away, I'll leave till I get back.


message 36: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
Carol ♔Type, Oh Queen!♕ wrote: "It's like I remember it - which isn't a good thing.

If I don't finish before I go away, I'll leave till I get back."


I'm just over halfway and it has improved considerably for me. I'm going to make every effort to finish today.

Aubrey & Char (view spoiler)


message 37: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1275 comments As to your spoiler, yes indeed! I don’t know when I’ve seen a female so accurately described before 1970s fiction. One sees men in fiction much earlier, but this must have been pretty groundbreaking for a female character. But we should probably be discussing this in the thread for chapters 12–23.


message 38: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ , Madam Mod (new)

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4120 comments Mod
Char (view spoiler)

I'll wait till the spoiler thread before I post more about this. :)


message 39: by Barb in Maryland (new)

Barb in Maryland | 647 comments Okay, here I am to confess total failure with this book. Well--it happens to all of us...
The books I wanted to finish before starting to re-read 'Penhallow' turned out to be awesome reads--the 'spoil you for reading anything else' kinda books. So 'Penhallow' was already starting off under a major handicap. I got three chapters in and realized that I hated all of the characters and didn't want to spend any more of my valuable time with these unpleasant/nasty people.
Nothing I've read in any of the comment threads (and a big bow to all my fellow GH fans who did finish) has enticed me to continue.
See y'all next month for the very young Horry (eyebrows, stammer and all) and the oh so marvelous Rule in 'The Convenient Marriage'.


Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review) (knyttwytch) Oh blimey! I thought I was the only one that couldn't get on with this! I will confess that I want to break off and may come back to it later - but frankly at the moment too much stress and too many nicer books calling my name!


message 41: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1275 comments It’s a tough one, for sure, Barb and Hilary! I often struggle with the Heyers that have angry characters, such as Faro’s Daughter and Bath Tangle. All that wrath and negativity can be exhausting, however well executed. When I’m in the right mood I can read them, but you shouldn’t feel any compunction about stopping if you’re not in the mood.


message 42: by Mary (new)

Mary | 34 comments What a sad discovery, to find Georgette Heyer book that I don't like. The characters are so uninteresting, the plot depressing, and what's up with those room descriptions!?

Sorry to say, but I've had enough after four chapters.


message 43: by Louise (last edited Jun 06, 2017 08:59PM) (new)

Louise Culmer It's pretty grim. Gets worse towards the end. Yes, and all those unnecessary detailed room descriptions are really weird.


message 44: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 1573 comments I still have to start this one and I must say I don't know how to approach it. There aren't many of you who like it and I find group here are usually spot on. After all, hard to knock a Heyer when we're all such big fans. I'll try and read it this weekend. The past two weeks have been a washout for me as life has gotten in the way and not in a good way.
However, I really want to start it and see what I think. Fingers crossed.


message 45: by Hana (last edited Jun 07, 2017 05:45AM) (new)

Hana | 652 comments I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit. There are a great many characters to keep track of but they are well drawn and the family dynamics are interesting. Maybe I'm weird that way by I like the room descriptions: Adam Penhallow's vast bedroom stuffed with mismatched furniture and a smelly cocker spaniel was amusing in a gruesome way. I suspect some sort of hording disorder--he likes to stuff all the family into the house as well. I agree he is thoroughly unlikable and I hope he's the one who gets murdered.

I'm up to Chapter 6 and I'll keep you all posted. Meanwhile, I made a family tree to sort things out. If you paste this link into your browser you should be able to view my page on Smart Draw.

https://cloud.smartdraw.com/share.asp...


message 46: by Hana (last edited Jun 07, 2017 05:41AM) (new)

Hana | 652 comments Like Sheila, I was reminded of Murder on the Orient Express. There are certainly plenty of people with motives for murdering Adam among the Penhallows.


message 47: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1275 comments Interesting observation about hoarding disorder, Hana! Spot on!


message 48: by Sheila (in LA) (new)

Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 341 comments Hana wrote: "Like Sheila, I was reminded of Murder on the Orient Express. There are certainly plenty of people with motives for murdering Adam among the Penhallows."

I'm reminded of another Agatha Christie novel--Appointment with Death, which features a controlling matriarch who enjoys toying with her children and denying them whatever they want.

I've now read through the chapter in which we meet Adam Penhallow. I did get distracted by a few shinier objects last week (Agatha Raisin), but I'm back to GH!


message 49: by Hana (last edited Jun 07, 2017 09:49AM) (new)

Hana | 652 comments So far, Clara is my favorite Penhallow family member. First of all she's a gardener! But I appreciated her insights in Ch. 7: "...she privately felt that Penhallow was working himself up to a crisis...he seemed now to be taking a malignant delight in outraging his family and his acquaintances, a significant change in his mentality which made Clara uneasy."

Eugene has his moments as well. I suspect all of the Penhallows would be fairly okay removed from the toxic atmosphere that Adam creates. The brothers (at least Rachel's children) seem to relish a good fight. The scene in Chapter 8 where the family is gathered in Adam's room is by turns funny (the fight about the spavined horse) and horrific (the fight about Jimmy).

Poor Faith. She seems by Chapter 8 to be close to a breaking point, as does Vivian. But I have more hope that Vivian can power through. My guess about who does it? As of Ch. 8 (view spoiler)


message 50: by Carolm (new)

Carolm | 62 comments I am finding this heavy-going and may not be able to finish it. I read Heyer for her wit - there is precious little in this one. I am enjoying the time period and the room details. I did find the whole meeting between Faith and Cliff interesting as well.


« previous 1
back to top