Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Title: Frederica
Author: Georgette Heyer
Published: 2000, Harlequin (originally 1965)
Category: Historical Romance
Rating: 7/10

I continue my way through Heyer. I discovered her about a year ago and have read a lot of them. And this one ranks among my favorites, which is good because the last one I read (Lady of Quality) was disappointing. But I guess even Heyer's allowed to have a few misses.

The Marquis of Alverstoke is a rich and selfish aristocrat. He's got tons of extended family who are always coming to him expecting him to give them money and do them favors. He doesn't care for his family and is sick of them relying on him. Our heroine, Frederica, a distant cousin of Alverstoke, arrives in London with the aim of launching her sister, Charis, into society. Frederica is the eldest of 5 siblings and has been taking care of the entire brood since her parents died several years previously. Frederica goes to Alverstoke and asks that he help her introduce Charis to the ton. Now, normally, this is just the kind of thing that would annoy Alverstoke, but he's taken with Frederica, so he decides to help them.

As he helps the family he gets to know them--especially Frederica and her two youngest brothers. They get into scrapes that he helps them out of and Alverstoke is constantly surprised by the fact that he likes them all so much. The interaction among Frederica and her many siblings is so funny and true to life--anyone who has siblings can relate to all the squabbling and teasing, but also the loyalty and affection among them.

So this one doesn't have Heyer's most interesting plot, and in fact I thought it dragged a little in a few places, but it's just so nice and cozy! Delightful characters: pragmatic, no-nonsense Frederica; bored and selfish Alverstoke; the very beautiful but idiotic Charis; and Frederica's incorrigible and adorable little brothers.

And every time I read Heyer I'm amazed by all the historical detail she puts in. If you're ever annoyed by a wallpaper historical, Heyer would be a good antidote. Not that I know all that much about the timeperiod, but with a lot of authors you just get the impression of completely modern-day characters plopped into a historical setting. The way Heyer's characters speak and act seems so authentic and true to the setting.

My next Heyer: Devil's Club


Mailyn said...

I love Heyer! Can't believe I keep forgeting to post about her. Love Devil's Cub. She was awesome indeed. (^_^)

Jennie said...

I've heard a couple people say Devil's Club is a good one. Yay! Heyer is the best. You should post about her, Mailyn, I want to hear what you have to say about her. ;)

Mailyn said...

I've been meaning to ever since I re-read Devil's Cub a few weeks ago but I keep forgeting. LOL.

Oh and I made the font a bit bigger. (^_^)

Amarjaa said...

Awww! 'Frederica' is quite a 'cozy' read; you're definitely right about that. ;)

Great review. I can't wait to see what you think of Devil's Cub -- that's one of my all-time favorite Heyer books. :)

Mailyn said...

amarjaa are you sure we aren't related cuz our tastes are almost near identical. mehehe.

Jennie said...

Reading twins! You guys and your dark heroes. All right, I'm ordering Devil's Club now.

Mailyn--Thanks for increasing the font on your site. Much easier to read now!!

Jennie said...

So, I just realized that it's Devil's Cub, not Devil's Club. I was looking for it on Amazon and getting really annoyed because it didn't come up. Doh! I had the title wrong.