Monday, December 08, 2008

Charity Girl


Heyer, Georgette. 1970. Charity Girl.

Charity Girl is an enjoyable Regency Romance by Georgette Heyer. It is one of her later novels, and it perhaps loses a little of the charm that made her books sparkle in previous years. But it is an enjoyable read nonetheless. Charity Girl is similar in plotting-but-not-pacing to an earlier novel, Sprig Muslin which Heyer wrote in 1956. Both books feature gentleman rescuing damsels-in-distresses. Both women, I believe, were running away. Both, I believe, were heading from the country to the city. Both gentlemen find the situation frustrating. Both gentlemen take the "damsels" to their old-maid best friends to watch after. Both gentlemen end up with the "old maids" friends. Both men actually have the situation work to their advantage in the romance department strangely enough. But the books are different in many ways.

Viscount Desford is our hero who rescues the young Charity, "Cherry." Cherry is running away from her aunt's house. She's tired of being Cinderella-without-a-prince. She's hoping that her grandfather will take her in. He lives in London. She doesn't. She needs a way to get there...and Des comes through. But when the girl's grandfather isn't home...Desford delivers the girl to the care of Miss Henrietta Silverdale and her mother, Lady Silverdale. Cherry is content to stay there and make the most of her time--helping Lady Silverdale even though she's a bit cranky and becoming good friends with Henrietta. Desford is off on his own to try to track down this grandfather. He tries place after place, city after city, following clue after clue.

There are plenty of twists in this one--to the girl, to her family--and this one really begins to sparkle there in the end. (But it has a slower beginning.) Some memorable characters. Some clever conversations. Enjoyable enough.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

3 comments:

Suey 9:32 PM  

Hey Becky, I have a question. I'm thinking of getting a couple of Georgette Heyer books for Christmas for my 17 year old daughter. Which ones would you suggest? They are good for teenage girls, right?

Becky 10:09 PM  

They are good for teens, I think. I'd go with one of the more accessible titles like Sprig Muslin, Reluctant Widow, or Lady of Quality. Other books like Charity Girl, Regency Buck, and Cotillion are very enjoyable, they just don't have as good a hook in the beginning pages. Cousin Kate was also fun for me.

Laura 12:50 PM  

Great review! I like Georgette Heyer's Regency books and her mysteries.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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