Friday, July 24, 2009

The Grand Sophy

Heyer, Georgette. 1950/2009. The Grand Sophy. SourceBooks. 372 pages.

Why couldn't Emma be more like Sophy? When Sophy Stanton-Lucy comes to visit her cousins (and stay with her aunt and uncle), she brings something vitally refreshing to the household. Charles Rivenhall, the 'man' of the household in a way, since he is the one holding the purse strings, is engaged to be married to a prim-and-proper (and-sometimes-meddling) young lady, Eugenia Wraxton. Cecelia Rivenhall is in love with a poet, Augustus Fawnhope. But her parents--and her brother--would much prefer her to marry Lord Charlbury. Unfortunately right after he spoke with her father but before he could present himself to the lady, he came down with the mumps. While he was out of the picture, Mr. Fawnhope stepped in speaking words of love and admiration. It is up to Sophy to puzzle out the ins and outs of this family and play matchmaker extraordinaire. Throw in a couple of her own suitors buzzing around the place--quite a few eccentrics I might add particularly Lord Bromford--and we've got the makings of a great romantic comedy. Sophy is a firecracker of a heroine with a mind of her own and the gumption to say and do what she pleases. But she also has a big heart. Her good intentions sometimes lead her to make 'poor' choices, but Sophy is strong enough and resourceful enough to take care of herself. A fact that just infuriates her cousin Charles.

Jane Austen's Emma may be a matchmaker like Sophy. But poor Emma is hopelessly stupid and selfish in comparison. The joke is always on Emma, everything is funny and charming in a way--but it is at her expense. Sophy is a delightful heroine. Sophy is far from selfish. She's always thinking of others. Wanting others to be happy--to get their happily ever afters. And she's observant as well. I loved Sophy. I did.

This is a fun little novel that I'm happy to recommend.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

No comments: