Thursday, May 15, 2008

False Colours, Georgette Heyer

Title: False Colours
Author: Georgette Heyer
Published: Orig. 1963, Reissued 2008, Sourcebooks
Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 8/10

Sourcebooks has been reissuing Heyers in very pretty trade paperback editions. I bought this one because I hadn't read it yet and it's about identical twins! (Like me.)

Kit Fancot has been working as a diplomat in Vienna but returns home to London because he has a feeling that his twin brother, Evelyn, is in trouble. He finds out that Evelyn is missing. Kit's not too worried about him because it's not that unusual for Evelyn to disappear on larks for a while, but the problem is that Evelyn has become engaged to a society lady and is due at her father's house for a formal dinner to meet the whole family. Kit's mother explains that Evelyn is making the match to alleviate some financial woes and tells Kit that he must go to the dinner and pretend to be Evelyn. Kit doesn't want to, but he has to help out his brother, so he goes and the ruse goes off without a hitch. The problem comes when the fiance decides that she needs to get to know Evelyn better (because all of a sudden she likes him (as Kit) a whole lot more) and comes with her grandmother to stay at Kit's country house with them. Kit was able to fool everyone for one night, but now he's faced with a week in the girl's company. And he has to figure out where Evelyn has got himself to.

Typical Heyer--I loved it. I find Heyer's books so funny--the situations are ridiculous and some of the characters are too, which makes for hilarious scenes. I laughed out loud when Kit's mother tells Evelyn (when he finally comes home) that now that everyone is used to Kit playing him he must pretend to be Kit pretending to be Evelyn.

Kit's mother is actually an unusual character for Heyer. She is silly and frivolous and her inability to keep her debts under control is giving her sons all sorts of trouble, and yet she's still a sympathetic character. Usually those sorts of characters are held up for ridicule. But the while the mother here may be silly, she has a warm heart and loves her sons more than anything else.

And I can say with experience that the twins did act like twins. Except for the part about them just "knowing" that the other is in trouble even when they are in different countries. Sorry to disappoint, but there is no mystical connection between twins. A couple weeks ago Twin went on a blind date and all of a sudden I just knew that he was an ax murderer, so I kept calling her on her cell phone. Of course she was fine (and really annoyed with me for bugging her). But I can see that it does make for very convenient plot lines, so I guess Heyer can be excused that. She did get it right otherwise. They can be apart for months and when they meet again it's like no time has passed. Better than best friends, with so much shared history that they know each other better than anyone else ever will. And they just know that the other will be there for them no matter what.

Not that they'd ever say so to each other. Heyer really hit it right with that last scene. I never tell Twin "thank you" or "I love you." I'm more likely to call her a fat cow, but she knows what I really mean. :) And now you all need some twin cuteness:

(I have no idea which is me. I can't tell when we're this little.)


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure you're on the right in that picture, giggle girl. And I have to say the only thing more fun than being a twin is having twins (or at least twins like my girls).
No matter how much you pick at each other, you're an inspiration for how folks should get along -- not to mention that the two of you have always been more fun to watch than any comedy act.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photo.

Thanks for the review. It's interesting to know that Heyer got the twin dynamic right. It's a fun book - with nice secondary characters like the mum, and Sir Bonamy Ripple (Not sure if that's right, but quite be bothered to go find the book to check...)

Kerry said...

I've read a lot of Heyers in my time, but I don't remember this one. I shall have to add it to my very long list of books I'd like to read when I have the time.

Very cute picture, too.

julieree said...

hey fat cow!! SMOOCHES! XOXO

Jill D. said...

Thanks for sharing the picture. It put a smile on my face and I definitely needed it.

False Colours sounds like a fun read. I will have to read it when I need something light-hearted!

Marg said...

Hi Jennie!

Could you email me please (email addy in my profile). I have a favour to ask related to Heyer!



Anonymous said...

Good to get your take on the twin plotline - and cute pic!

Kit is one of my favourite Heyer heroes, and this is definitely one of the more humorous Heyers. I may have to dust this one off and do a re-read.

Jennie said...

Marmee--Oh, we fight all the time when you're not around. She's so annoying, you know. That's why you love me more. (But don't worry, I won't tell her that.) :p

Marianne--I loved the mum in this book. The scene when she talks Sir Bonamy into marrying her had me in stitches. :)

Kerry--This is a nice funny one. If you like Heyer's style, I highly recommend this one.

Julie--You are princess poopypants.

Jill--Thanks! We were pretty cute when we were little. I've loved almost all the Heyers I've read, and this one is a very funny one.

Marg--Done! :)

Li--Kit is great. He's dependable but definitely not boring. I was happy that Heyer made some very discernible differences between Kit and Evelyn--and that the fiance could in fact tell them apart with no trouble. Because if ever a boyfriend couldn't tell between Julie and me, he'd be dumped very very quickly. ;)

nath said...

I've been meaning to comment on this post and I keep forgetting! :D I just want to say that you and your twin were soooo cute! :D