Thursday, November 21, 2013

False Colours (1963)

False Colours. Georgette Heyer. 1963/2011. Thorndike. 520 pages. [Source: library]

False Colours was one of the few Heyer romances I'd not read previously. (Though I think I'd attempted it before and found myself not in the mood.) I had my doubts about this title because it is about twins switching places. The premise didn't sound appealing. But I found myself enjoying this one after all!

Christopher "Kit" Fancot returns to London unexpectedly. His mother is thrilled to see him, but incredibly anxious as well, you see, for she was expecting to see Kit's twin, Evelyn. If Evelyn doesn't return in the next day (or so) it will be super-awkward for the family. He's supposed to be meeting his fiancee's (extended) family at a party. It's a big deal. (Their engagement isn't official yet. If he doesn't impress certain members of her family, it may be broken off.) The mother fears that something has happened to her son to keep him away. He went away on an errand for her behalf, to redeem a brooch she'd lost gaming. Kit and his mother are bantering back and forth when she gets an idea: Kit can take his brother's place at the party! Since Evelyn has not met (most) of the family yet anyway, they wouldn't be able to distinguish between the two twins anyway--and if they know Evelyn has a twin at all, well, they expect him to be in Europe (Vienna, I think?). He agrees--for this one emergency--to take his brother's place. Readers know it won't really be that simple!

The heroine of False Colours is a lovely young woman, Cressy Stavely. Kit finds himself in an impossible situation when it becomes clear that Cressy and Evelyn are practically strangers and they have only had one or two conversations at most--one being the proposal itself. Another conversation was interrupted. Here's where it gets tricky. She wants to finish that conversation! She wants to meet again... So Kit finds himself continuing the deception...

False Colours is delightful and quite predictable. I definitely enjoyed it for the characterization. I liked Kit very much! I loved seeing Kit interact with his mother. He was so patient and kind and thoughtful. His mother, well, she's a character. One could see how she'd be incredibly annoying, could really get on all your nerves. But Kit accepts his mother's "weaknesses," awaits her moments of calmness, and is very tender with her. I also loved seeing him interact with Cressy! Those two were definitely meant to be. There were other characters that I enjoyed as well, including one of his mother's suitors! 

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Sherry 8:21 PM  

I actually think the Shakespearean twin-switching plot sounds interesting . Getting to know someone while pretending to be someone else has got to be a good set-up for comedy, at least.

Susan@ Reading World 8:25 AM  

I love Heyer. I haven't read too many of her books but I pick them up now when I need a boost. This one sounds like fun!

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