Thursday, September 05, 2013
Sprig Muslin (1956)
Sprig Muslin is a lovely romance novel by Georgette Heyer. It is very reader-friendly; the pacing is even and it's a delight from the start. (In some of Heyer's novels the satisfaction comes in the last third of the novel; that isn't the case in Sprig Muslin). What makes Sprig Muslin satisfying isn't the romance, it is the comedy.
Sir Gareth Ludlow is on his way to propose to a very respectable woman, Lady Hester. He is quite fond of her, has respected and admired her for years. But he is not madly in love with her. On his trip, he accidentally meets Amanda "Smith." This young woman is obvious trouble from the start. She is obviously a woman intent on running away. He doesn't know her real name; he doesn't know where she's from--city or country; he doesn't know anything about her character except that she's a big liar, has an extraordinary imagination, and is incredibly foolish. This is a woman in need of rescuing. She needs someone with commonsense and no agenda to get her back where she belongs. He doesn't exactly want the job. But someone has to do it. He can't just leave her to her own designs or something awful could happen.
Amanda is the life of this novel. She is foolish, imaginative, stubborn, and vivacious. She is always plotting, always on the move, always calculating the situation and writing a new story. She keeps the novel going at a tremendous pace. Sir Gareth can hardly keep up with her, and the others they meet along the way are just as bad.
The novel is a big misadventure; there are plenty of interesting characters as well. This novel works BECAUSE Sir Gareth and Amanda are not love interests. I loved every minute of this one. Not because it was romantic and giddy-making, but because it was just so funny.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews