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Romance Review – The Grand Sophy

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

Review by Cynthia F. (frazerc)



First a word about the author.  If you’ve never read a Georgette Heyer Regency she is the gold standard against which other Regency Romance authors are compared.  Her work is beautiful researched but still delightfully readable: filled with fascinating characters, complex plots and beautiful settings.

Sophy is the daughter of a diplomat who is sent to stay with English relatives who do not know her.  They are expecting a shy and timid mouse – are they in for a BIG surprise!

Sophy arrives complete with a monkey and a parrot [which was not raised in a vicarage] for the children, an Italian greyhound at her feet and her personal groom and maid in attendance.  She is tall and although not classically beautiful, her vivacious charm wins over all the family members in the first meeting except Charles, the dour eldest son.

Charles is pained by his cousin’s behavior.  She is forward, bold, out-spoken and a bad influence on his family.  Already she is encouraging sister Cecilia’s unfortunate infatuation with a poet, encouraging brother Hubert to confide in her rather than himself, fascinating the children and befriending his mother.  Everyone loves her except Charles’ fiancée…

Sophy is never bored, there is always something, or someone, to put to rights and she finds ample situations in her newly acquired family.  There’s Cecilia who is weeping over her poet and the ‘older man’ they want her to marry, there’s Hubert who is obviously laboring under a heavy burden of worry, and Charles who has become a domestic tyrant and is engaged to a truly tedious girl which he intends to inflict on the family by moving her into the house after the wedding.  But she’s set worse situations to rights, it’s only a matter of planning and initiative…

The book abounds with wits, rakes, snobs and eccentrics, all fashionably dressed and involved in a whirlwind of social activities.  It sparkles with intelligent, witty and charming conversation.  The plot has a satisfying number of twists without anyone stumbling over a dead body or kidnapping the king or even losing a diamond necklace.  The romance is warm and believable.  Like most of Georgette Heyer’s work, this is a stand alone novel.

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2 Responses to “Romance Review – The Grand Sophy”

  1. Kelly P. (KellyP) , says:

    Excellent review about an excellent book! If one is not familiar with Georgette Heyer, The Grand Sophy is the perfect book to launch what will surely be life-long love of her books!

  2. Mary S. (kilchurn) , says:

    I’ve seen her books for years, but have never braved one. Based on this review, this book may be the first one I read. Thanks for the review!

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