The Grand Sophy – Georgette Heyer

Sophy arrives in her aunt and uncles house which seems to have stopped living. Everyone is sad and melancholy. money is an issue but it is not to be talked about and love seems to be a practical move forward and not an emotion. Now that Sophy has arrived everything is about to change and the house is going to be thrown into complete disarray.

She arrives with a menagerie in tow, a thoroughbred horse which she can handle as well as any man, a monkey for her younger cousins, a faithful dog and a noisy parrot. This arrival causes upset for her cousin Charles who has had to take upon the running of the house and the family, and has appearing to have aged years before he needs to. His intended is a rather sour faced individual who cannot find good in anything and is intent on ensuring Charles is fully aware of the actions of this new house guest.

But for her other cousin, Cecilia it is someone who she can share her innermost thoughts with. Her love for a poet has thwarted her mother and brothers plans of being able to survive in the future. Her intended betrothed still seems quite interested and is taken with Sophy when he encounters her in the park. Sophy has plenty of schemes to bring about the right conclusion and show that perhaps airy poets are not the way to have a long and successful marriage.

Even the male cousins seek solace with Sophy, when Hubert finding himself in a pickle rather like his fathers; gambling seems to be a family trait turns to Sophy who does something most inappropriate and puts her life at risk and even more so her honour.

Sophy is a girl who is before her time. You can imagine such a strong willed and devilish woman in a contemporary novel, but this is a novel of the Regency period. If born some 75 years later she would have made an excellent suffragette. She is just what the household needed to show them what life could really be like. This is a romantic novel I suppose but it is full of wit and humour that actually the romance takes a back seat on many occasion until near the end when Sophy’s meddling comes to its natural conclusion. It is if she was meant to enter that house and to cause the problems that she did.

Sophy is the main character and she is surrounded by well drawn secondary characters, full of their own self importance like Charles, whims and fancies such as Cecilia and her poet, as well as the rather detestable Eugenia who seems to have a permanent smell under her nose and even the rather mysterious Sancia, the Spaniard who sleeps more than is awake and is betrothed to become Sophy’s new step mama. Plenty of people to like and dislike in equal measure and to laugh and cry with too.

This is my first Georgette Heyer novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it, in fact it was a grand novel! I can see me reading it again in the future.

Thank you to Desperate Reader for pointing in me in the right direction of the Georgette Heyer novel I should read. I am so glad I took up the challenge to expand my reading. That is one of the great things about book blogs.