Happy Birthday Georgette Heyer + Giveaway!

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I received a copy of Georgette Heyer’s COTILLION from Soucebooks for review and decided to post it on Georgette’s would-be 109th birthday.

While I couldn’t dream of writing a historical romance (at least not at this point in my career), I do love reading them.  I love all the royalty, the dress, the language.  I find the stiff rules a great source of conflict and enjoy the contrast it creates with personalities.  So, I expected to love Georgette’s work.

This was a very different type of historical than what I was used to.  At first I found the language so complex, I labored over the paragraphs, flipping words and sentences around in my mind to grasp their meaning before moving on.  But it didn’t take but a chapter or two before I fell into the rhythm, and once I did, I could thoroughly appreciate so much of Georgette’s beautiful craft.  And instead of finding the prose restrictive, I was able to recognize what depth it added to the story.

It reminded me a lot of when my daughter was assigned The Scarlet Letter in high school.  Mildly dyslexic, she already struggled with reading, though still loved the activity.  But The Scarlet Letter and all its intricate sentence structure and language uses drove her to tears…literally.  To get her through the book, I resorted to reading it aloud to her, stopping every few paragraphs to explain what they were saying.  Again, the prose daunted me at first, but soon my daughter and I looked forward to reading the next installment together and even enjoyed discussing the events.

Georgette Heyer’s humor is both subtle and smart and so very unexpected.  Her character development is masterful, her weaving romance threads intricate and her plot threads complex.

If you read regency romance, you’ll love this book.  If you are an avid historical romance reader of more “modern” historicals, it won’t take you long to slip into the style of Georgette’s writing.  And if you’re an occasional historical fan, the richness of Georgette’s talented storytelling is worth the initial effort.

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