Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Cotillion (1953)

Cotillion. Georgette Heyer. 1953/2007. Sourcebooks. 362 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

Cotillion was one of the first Georgette Heyer novels I ever read. I appreciated it even more as a reread. When I (first) read Cotillion, I didn't know Heyer yet; I didn't LOVE Heyer yet. I didn't know her style, her wit, her techniques. Now I do. And it made quite the difference. In my first review, I complained about the slow start. Now, I see Cotillion as being a joy from the very start! I now love it cover to cover!!!

I love how Cotillion begins: with some confusion and a bit of a fuss. A room full of men talking about their eccentric great-uncle, about his money and his will, about his ward, Miss Kitty Charing. Almost all the men in the room feel they know the reason they were invited to visit. Great-Uncle Matthew wants one of his great-nephews to propose to Miss Kitty. The happy couple will receive an inheritance. Otherwise, he will leave his money to charity. Not all the men are eligible. At least one is married already. Not all the men are willing. Three potential suitors are noticeably missing from the party. One of the three is a soldier, he never is part of the story. The other two, however, are key players! Freddy Standen and Jack Westruther. Several proposals are given that weekend...

Freddy Standen is late in arriving. In fact, Miss Kitty encounters him only because she is running away from home. (The whole situation is so embarrassing for her!) He was clueless about the weekend, about the reason for the family get together. Miss Kitty has an aha moment. She does something surprising: she proposes to him. She convinces him that a FAKE betrothal would be just the thing. She could go with him to London, to stay with his family; she could see the sights, she could go shopping, she could go to parties, she could have a life. The betrothal would only last a month or so at most. Just enough for her to have a great time away from home. Perhaps just long enough to make a certain other 'cousin' jealous. He says yes. It's a reluctant yes; Freddy isn't as clever at scheming as Miss Kitty. (And this is Miss Kitty's very first scheme! But it won't be her last...)

Cotillion was enjoyable from start to finish!!! The ending is oh-so-satisfying!!! I enjoyed Miss Kitty and I adored Freddy! I would definitely recommend this one.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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