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The Reluctant Widow
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Group Reads > The Reluctant Widow Group Read May 2018 Chapters 1-10

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Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
Are we all ready?

Please remember - No open spoilers - use spoiler tags or post in the spoiler thread - we don't want to ruin a first read for anyone!

So...is this anyone's first time reading this?
How many times have you read it?
What format are you using this time?

This is another GH title that I have read many, many times. The last time was with this group around 3 years ago. This time I'm reading the edition pictured at the top of this thread.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments I may have to skip this read, I don’t have a copy and unable to get one from the library right now. Will lurk and enjoy comments, I think I remember enough from the group read about three years ago.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Hey everyone,

I think That I posted elsewhere in this group that the audio for this book with Cornelius Garret is outstanding.

If you have the opportunity to listen to it, its a rare treat.

In terms of reading, this was not a favorite GH title, but listening to it raised it to anolther level. The narratgor is AMAZING!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1430 comments This one is high up in my second rank of Heyers. I don’t mind that the romance is very understated, and I do like the humor and the politics/skullduggery aspect. The secondary characters are well drawn, and although I occasionally get frustrated with the heroine’s perpetual snit, she had a lot to be snittish about!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Abigail wrote: "This one is high up in my second rank of Heyers. I don’t mind that the romance is very understated, and I do like the humor and the politics/skullduggery aspect. The secondary characters are well d..."
Very true...


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Hey everyone,

I think That I posted elsewhere in this group that the audio for this book with Cornelius Garret is outstanding.

If you have the opportunity to listen to it, its a rare treat.
Thanks, narrator makes or breaks the experience!
In t..."



message 7: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 547 comments The Reluctant Widow happens to be the first Heyer I ever read, and is a sentimental favorite for that reason. I also enjoy it on its own merits, of course: the characters, the humor, the sly send-up of the Gothic genre.

My copy is a battered Heinemann hardcover (no dust jacket) that I picked up in a secondhand bookshop on one of my trips to England, years ago.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments My copy is the 1982 Jove edition, but from the Scotch tape holding it together, you'd think it much earlier. It was one I inherited from a friend's friend's mother's basement, and from its worn appearance, I'm sure it was a great favorite!


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments My copy is on my iPad - as my Pan paperback fell apart years ago! TRW was one of the first books I bought from Amazon Kindle when I got my first iPad. I can read it anytime, anywhere!!
It was about the 5th GH I read: I loved it then and love it now. I can overlook any small flaws, because overall - it is such a delight: and it never fails to amuse, entertain, entrance and surprise me. (I know - I don’t know how it does it, but it can still surprise me! )
Looking forward to this re-read.


message 10: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 443 comments I decided too be proactive last week. Checked my shelves, no copy, checked the library, no copy, checked Amazon, £0.99, yes!

Immediately after purchasing I found my original copy that I'd overlooked on the shelf! I have no idea why I'm so chagrined about 99p wasted when I spend so much more than that on books in general!


message 11: by Carolm (last edited Apr 30, 2018 11:50AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Carolm | 62 comments My copy is the 1961 Pan edition (the cover isn't in the Goodreads list). This is not a favourite, so I have only read it a couple of times. The last time was long enough ago that I don't remember it almost word-for-word, like I do my favourites.


Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 459 comments This was the first GH book I read and I still love it.

The kindle book is still discounted on amazon UK and US (I checked) so if anyone hasn't got it, now is a good time.

Do you mind having both Nick? I have the audible version too, I like having different ones to suit my mood (especially when they're discounted)


message 13: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Gibson Well, everyone, I've not been able to complete any reads of GH's books. But I'm going to give this one a shot as well. Will certainly try and keep up with the updated messages. I'll be reading this one using my Kindle app.


message 14: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 443 comments Louise Sparrow wrote: "Do you mind having both Nick?."

No, not really! I was more annoyed at myself for going to all that effort and failing at the first step for not seeing what's in front of my nose!
Actually I quite like having a ebook and a hard copy. They're both good in different ways.


message 15: by Jackie (last edited May 01, 2018 06:11AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jackie | 1385 comments I have this paperback that I've read many times and it's falling apart
Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

it was one of my very favorites for years so I over-did it and needed a break. it still is in my top three, I think.


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments I am definitely having a senior moment! After posting that I was using the copy on my iPad, I discovered my old, Arrow paperback copy (2004) hidden in plain sight with my cookery books! Reading that now as I do actually prefer holding a book if I can. Bliss!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I lost Venetia for several years, and, like you, Nick and Susan, found it in my book shelves...


Rosina (rosinarowantree) I have this edition - The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer

in a really tatty state. It's one of my favourites, but I also have it as an audio-book The Reluctant Widow  by Georgette Heyer


Barb in Maryland | 714 comments I will be reading this in digital, if my e-reader hasn't died! (It has been a while since I last used it... )
The first time I read it (waaay back when), I had this pb:
The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer
Isn't that awful?
Rosina, your cover looks much more appropriate.

This has never been one of my favorites. Last time I read it I wanted to throttle Nicky and shake Elinor.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Susan in Perthshire wrote: "I am definitely having a senior moment! After posting that I was using the copy on my iPad, I discovered my old, Arrow paperback copy (2004) hidden in plain sight with my cookery books! Reading tha..."

How’d that book get there? Hey, as long as they are all your books, I’d pretend I did it on purpose “one never knows when one might want a shot of Heyer while waiting for the sauce to simmer...”


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Barb in Maryland wrote: "I will be reading this in digital, if my e-reader hasn't died! (It has been a while since I last used it... )
The first time I read it (waaay back when), I had this pb:
[bookcover:The Reluctant Wid..."


I laughed out loud at that cover! It's way beyond "simpering miss" style.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1430 comments I used to have that edition, Barb, but I moved to the Arrow edition when the cover fell off in shame. . . .


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Abigail wrote: "I used to have that edition, Barb, but I moved to the Arrow edition when the cover fell off in shame. . . ."

Snorted at that one, Abigail...😃


Barb in Maryland | 714 comments Karlyne wrote: "I laughed out loud at that cover! It's way beyond "simpering miss" style"

I thought her pose and expression were very 'come hither'--something that Elinor never was with Carlyon(!)


Teresa | 1810 comments Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit of a difficult relationship for quite a few years it's hit me so terribly hard. I didn't think it would be this bad. So I'm taking a little 'out' time to try and get myself together.


Hilary (A Wytch's Book Review) (knyttwytch) Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit of a difficult r..."

Sorry to hear this :( - take care of yourself


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments So sorry to hear this Teresa. Whatever the problems were, - this is still going to be difficult for you - so please take care of yourself.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit of a difficult r..."

So sorry to hear this, be easy on yourself- we never know how these things will affect us. We’re here when you’re ready! Thinking of you and sending loving thoughts your way...


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit of a difficult r..."

Ah, Teresa, so sorry! The only thing I can say is that as time goes on, the good times have seemed closer and better, and now I often relate to others how funny my mom could be. Take all the time you need to recover.


Teresa | 1810 comments Oh thank you all so much. Your kind words mean so much to me. I feel a bit dazed at the moment. I hope it eases even a small bit soon.


Teresa | 1810 comments Susan in NC wrote: "Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit o..."

Susan I do hope everything went well for you. The candle has been lighting every day.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 1430 comments Sometimes it’s the difficult relationships that cause the most problems when the person dies. My thoughts are with you, Teresa!


message 33: by Susan in NC (last edited May 01, 2018 01:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Teresa wrote: "Susan in NC wrote: "Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly c..."

Thanks, Teresa- I’m tired but well; they let me come home Saturday afternoon, I think they realized I could rest more comfortably at home! They got almost all the tumor and I can feel my balance is already better, much ahead of last year's surgery.

I’m lighting a candle for you in my heart, since I’m not getting around much yet.


message 34: by Susan in NC (last edited May 01, 2018 01:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments I checked my local library and was able to borrow the ebook of Reluctant Widow, which is easier on my eyes for now! Blow up the font - ;) so I can read along after all.


message 35: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments Louise Sparrow wrote: "This was the first GH book I read and I still love it.
"


Same here! My very first GH and the beginning of what I expect will be a life-long passion :)


Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂  | 4484 comments Mod
Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit of a difficult r..."

So sorry Teresa.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Abigail wrote: "This one is high up in my second rank of Heyers. I don’t mind that the romance is very understated, and I do like the humor and the politics/skullduggery aspect. The secondary characters are well d..."

Francis Cheviot is amazing in the hands of narrator Cornelius Garrett!


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1136 comments Teresa wrote: "Guys I think I'm going to have to skip this one or maybe I'll see how I feel later in the month. My mother died last Thursday and even though we were not overly close and had a bit of a difficult r..."

I’m terribly sorry for your loss!


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments I'm reading this and watching out for just how much of Elinor's speech is serious and how much is ironic, tongue-in-cheek, or just plain sarcastic, and, so far, I'm liking her personality, because she has plenty of those qualities. I do think that she was over-persuaded into the situation, but, then, on the other hand, as Carlyon pretty much said, what other option did she have? I'm not saying that her situation was uppermost in his thoughts, but he certainly did think about her as the whole plan unfolded.

And, as a lover of houses myself, I would have been hard-pressed to turn down a mouldering mansion which obviously needs her!


Rosina (rosinarowantree) The turning point in Elinor's resistance was the arrival of Nicky, with the confusing talk of bears, and bagwigs, and stabbing Eustace to death ... There was obviously a decision that had to be made right there, no time for discussions or banter, and she succumbed to urgency, as much as to argument.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments And, she was exhausted, had nowhere to go, and absolutely no prospects. I would have given in much earlier...


Jackie | 1385 comments Rosina wrote: "The turning point in Elinor's resistance was the arrival of Nicky, with the confusing talk of bears, and bagwigs, and stabbing Eustace to death ... There was obviously a decision that had to be mad..."

yes, exactly. and she just happens to fit in so nicely with Carlyon's family as she meets them one by one. what else could she do?

I would have given in earlier, too.


Sheila (in LA) (sheila_in_la) | 373 comments I requested this one from the library and am really looking forward to starting it. (I think I'm getting the Arrow paperback.)

Teresa, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. The death of a parent is never easy. Glad you are doing well, Susan (in NC).


message 44: by Hana (new)

Hana | 652 comments My condolences to Teresa. And I'm glad Susan is on the mend.

I'm on a re-read (probably at least 3x) and I still find the first chapter one of GH's finest and funniest. She sets us up perfectly with Elinor's dreadful train-ride, her memories of the trying interview with Mrs. Macclesfield, her forebodings about the spoiled, headstrong boy whose governess she's supposed to be.

Elinor's 'interview' with Carlyon--full of cross-purposes and misdirection--had me in stitches.

"Perhaps it would be as well if I were to lose no time in making the acquaintance of my charge'

His lip curled. 'An apt term!' he remarked dryly....'You shall see him presently. If what you have observed has not daunted you, you encourage me to hope that your resolution will not fail when you are brought face to face with him.'

I trust not, indeed,' she said with a smile. 'I was given to understand, I own, that I might find him a trifle--a trifle high-spirited, perhaps.'


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 3661 comments Thanks, Hana! And this is my third or fourth read as well, that first chapter is so much fun! Really sets the mood, draws me in, makes me look forward to fun to come!


Susan in Perthshire (susanageofaquarius) | 1201 comments I have lost count of how many times I have read TRW but I first read it when I was about 15 and that’s 54 years ago. I re-read it at least every couple of years - so that gives you an idea of how many times. It is one of my top 10 favourites. From page 1, one is drawn in and gain an immediate understanding of Elinor’s background, situation, and her emotions. The cracking pace which GH adopts to move the story on is just stunningly brilliant. We have the long journey and Elinor’s initial unease, we see the house and share her amazement that this is the home of the woman who interviewed her and we meet Carlyon who is not the employer’s husband, but a Lord who believes her to be the applicant for an entirely different position. The conversation of misunderstandings and cross purposes is just brilliant and the dialogue so entertaining and revealing of the 2 protagonists’ characters. Every time I read this, I marvel at GH’s ease with language and her skill with dialogue, description and plot development. Elinor’s ironic utterances are so entertaining and delightful that I am sure I have modelled my own retorts on her! No simpering Miss here - but a well rounded, strong and competent female heroine.


Karlyne Landrum | 3895 comments And the "brandy" part... Can you imagine the eyebrows raised all the way to the moon?!


Teresa | 1810 comments Abigail wrote: "Sometimes it’s the difficult relationships that cause the most problems when the person dies. My thoughts are with you, Teresa!"

Abigail, I know from previous comments between us that you and I had similar experiences with parents. You know exactly how I'm feeling and I'm touched by your kind words. Finding this extremely hard.


Teresa | 1810 comments Sheila wrote: "I requested this one from the library and am really looking forward to starting it. (I think I'm getting the Arrow paperback.)

Teresa, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. The death of a parent is ..."


Thank you Sheila. It's so long ago since my Dad died that this feels like the first death in the family. One of my brothers agreed with me. He was only a teenager back then and didn't really know our Dad that well. Families truly are a strange entity.


Vasoula | 43 comments Karlyne wrote: "I lost Venetia for several years, and, like you, Nick and Susan, found it in my book shelves..."

Finding long lost-or even better- forgotten books by favourite authors is amazing! I recently found some from an author I loved more than twenty years ago and really enjoyed them.


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