|Cotillion, by Georgette Heyer, narrated by Phyllida Nash|
When Kitty’s cantankerous care-taker insists that one of his own nephews marry Kitty for her to inherit his fortune, three of them rush to Kitty’s home to propose. When she spurns those three, they patiently explain that she must marry one of them or else she will be left destitute. Kitty hatches a plan (which the reader is left only vaguely aware of) to free herself from these constraints – but it requires her to go to London for a few weeks. That’s where her cousin Freddy comes in. He didn’t propose – had no wish to propose – but only came because he was curious what this big summons from his uncle was about. In secret, Kitty convinces Freddy to propose marriage so that he could take her to London. Of course, she’ll break it off when the few weeks are over….
This is my first book by Georgette Heyer. I’ve heard so many great things about her that I wanted to see for myself. At first, I wasn’t too pleased with the book, but I warmed to it once time had passed, and Kitty matured in London. You see, I didn’t like Kitty at first. She seemed so manipulative – getting Freddy to propose when he clearly didn’t want to. And it seemed her plan could end up destructive to both of them – even if we didn’t know what the whole plan was about. I realized as she grew that the plan was just naivete and not pure manipulation, but I still found all the dangerous lies a bit disturbing. Regardless, everything turned out well in the end, and I was left with a warm fuzzy feeling about the novel.
Heyer’s writing is delightful. She mixes humor with the beloved Regency Romance genre, and she’s often suggested to readers who have finished all the Jane Austen novels. They definitely have the same feel as an Austen, though the humor has a slightly different tone. Austen has more sarcasm in her books. Both writers have a mixture of wit and silliness. I will hopefully have time to read another Heyer soon. Just think, a brand new author to explore!