Monday, July 29, 2013

The Grand Sophy (1950)

The Grand Sophy. Georgette Heyer. 1950/2009. Sourcebooks. 372 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

The first time I read it, I found Sophy Stanton-Lucy to be a delightful, sometimes mischievous, matchmaker. I was not as delighted the second time around. I still think The Grand Sophy is a fun book, however. It's just that I've read better Heyer novels perhaps.

Sophy Stanton-Lucy is going to stay with her aunt, uncle, and cousins while her father travels. She is a young woman of marriageable age. She's just the right age to be a companion to her cousin, Cecelia Rivenhall. Almost everyone from the family loves and adores her. She has a way of livening things up, bringing joy with her wherever she goes. She's hardly predictable! There are a few people, however, who have reservations about her. One is her cousin, Charles Rivenhall. He isn't quite sure that Sophy is a good influence on her cousins. Why would any proper young lady bring a pet monkey with her? She's just so different from all the society ladies. Charles' fiancee Eugenia Wraxton is another who has doubts. The difference between the two is this: Charles is won over, quite won over by his cousin, and Eugenia, well, let's just say that the more the novel goes on, the more she comes to hate or disapprove of Sophy. Charles comes to see Eugenia in a new light. She can lecture on and on and be quite interfering. He also sees that his own family does not quite "like" to spend time in Eugenia's company. The contrast between Eugenia and Sophy is oh-so-evident.

Most of The Grand Sophy focuses on the adventures and misadventures of Sophy and her cousins. Cecelia's love life, for example, leads to many of these adventures. There are quite a few men interested in courting her. And Sophy is often around for these encounters. She is very observant, a bit wiser than Cecelia perhaps, and she has plans and designs on how to help her favorite (Lord Charlbury) win Cecelia's heart in the end.

It was a fun, light novel, a good historical romance. It might not be my absolute favorite Georgette Heyer novel, but, it was a good read all the same. Do you have a favorite Heyer novel?

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Jen Robinson 12:20 PM  

I think Frederica is my favorite ;-) But this one is fun, too.

Becky 2:05 PM  

Jen, Frederica is in my top six definitely!!! I LOVE it. Venetia and Devil's Cub are probably in my top three. It's so hard to narrow down favorites when they're all so very, very good!

Cleo Li-Schwartz 3:42 PM  

I've never read any Georgette Heyer, but I want to. I've heard that The Grand Sophy is a really good one, but which novels would you suggest?

Becky 5:00 PM  

I'll try my best to answer! Let's see, Venetia and Sylvester are fun. And they have audio book editions narrated by Richard Armitage. I happen to adore Devil's Cub and Frederica and Cotillion. Many people favor These Old Shades.

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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.

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  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
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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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