Thursday, July 23, 2009
The Corinthian is one of the funner Georgette Heyer novels I've read in recent months. Heyer is great at writing romantic comedies. True, Heyer isn't always the most original author, her books often follow a handful of different patterns. But they're patterns that work time and again. And there's the difference, in my opinion. There is something satisfying and delightful about her books, her characters. So some plot devices are familiar, that doesn't mean the stories and characters themselves are stale and uninteresting. Far from it actually. Her characters are ones that you want to spend time with.
In The Corinthian, we've got a bachelor, Sir Richard Wyndham, who happens to rescue a damsel in distress, Penelope Creed. Penelope set on running away from her aunt--who is encouraging her into a loveless marriage with her cousin Fred--is disguised as a boy. Richard, while on his way home and a bit drunk at that, sees Pen climbing out her window--by way of her bed sheets of course. He "catches" her just in time. Granted, this "she" is dressed as a he. But there's no fooling Richard. A bit amused at the situation, and wanting to run away himself to avoid an unpleasant appointment the next day, he decides to help out. She wants to escape London--and her aunt--and travel to Bristol (or near Bristol anyway). She's got a childhood friend, Piers, who she fancies herself madly in love with. Five (or so) years ago, these two promised themselves to each other. Hearing this tale, Richard decides to join in the journey and ensure her safety. The two will go together. He will act as her tutor-uncle-cousin and 'protect' her along the way. (Each identity is used on their journey at various stages.) Their journey is rarely boring--they get in and out of trouble along the way.
This one is playful and fun. There's some adventure thrown in as well--and a murder!--but at it's heart this is a romantic comedy.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews