Friday, July 3, 2009

Review: The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer

When Waldo Hawkridge comes to inspect his newly inherited country estate, he causes quite a stir with the local gentry. Sir Waldo has an immense fortune and excels at sporting pursuits, he is well known to be the best driver in the country. Hence his nickname, the Nonesuch:

"It means being the greatest Go among all the Goers!' stated Courtenay. 'Particularly on the roads - though they say the Nonesuch is a clipping rider to hounds harness and out no man can do more with a horse than the Nonesuch."

An admired and respected man who, at thirty five years old, is a great catch for all those country mamas with daughters to marry off. Accompanying him is his young cousin, Julian, a Lord whose love of the countryside and country life means that he is completely happy to fish and ride while Sir Waldo is seeing to his business.

Julian's eye is caught almost immediately by the beautiful Tiffany Wield, who lives with her aunt, Mrs. Underwood, her cousins, and her governess, Miss Ancilla Trent. Tiffany is the most beautiful girl around, easily eclipsing every other girl in the county. Too bad she doesn't have a disposition to match her lovely face. Miss Trent is constantly trying to gently make Tiffany aware that her scheming and her selfish, boorish behavior are unbecoming, but to little avail.

It surprises everyone that Sir Waldo seems to be interested in the penniless but lovely and levelheaded Ancilla. He has been known to be something of a flirt in the past, mostly turning his attentions to married ladies, which hasn't helped his reputation. But he sees, much to his own surprise, something special in Miss Trent. She, in turn, is irritated by her own inability to control her emotions as she falls deeply in love for the first time in her twenty six years with a man whom she knows will never be hers.

There is no doubt that Georgette Heyer is the queen of witty banter and sparkling repartee. Her wonderful use of language leads to a light and frothy novel that is so enjoyable that it is impossible to read it without smiling. The convoluted romantic entanglements are delightful and the use of period slang is nothing but pure fun:

"A very good sort of boy: nothing of the rum 'un about him! But as for Laurence -! Upon my word, Waldo, I wonder that you should bear with him as you do! Well, I was used to think him more flash than foolish, but after listening to his damned insolence today I think him the most buffleheaded clunch I ever saw in my life! If there's one person anybody but a sapskull would have taken precious care not to rub against, it's you! Good God, where does he think he'd be, if you was to abandon him? Don't you tell me he hasn't cost you a small fortune, because I'm not a gapeseed!"

Delightful and so, so enjoyable! If you haven't tried Georgette Heyer yet, you are missing out! She wrote fantastic romances, historical fiction novels and mysteries, over fifty books in her lifetime! Sourcebooks is reissuing these classics in lovely trade paperbacks. Thank you Sourcebooks, and to Danielle for sending me The Nonesuch for review!

The Nonesuch is published by Sourcebooks Casablanca. ISBN 978-1-4022-1770-8.


bermudaonion said...

I'm probably the last person on Earth who hasn't read any of Heyer's work. I keep reading great reviews like this one, though, so I need to give it a try.

Sheila DeChantal said...

No not the last person on earth Bermuda.... I have not read either.

robin_titan said...

oooooh this one sounds good!

Zibilee said...

I've been reading a lot of reviews for Heyer's books lately, and now I feel like I have been missing out! There seem to be so many good ones to choose from. I will definitely have to give her a try. Thanks for the great review!

Julie said...

I do enjoy some historical fiction & I have not read any of Heyer's work. Your review makes me want to give her a shot~thanks:)

Lenore said...

I haven't read any Heyer either. But apparently I should. Though it would tough to read a book where the MC was named Waldo.

lollypop917 said...

I too have yet to read any Georgette Heyer and your review makes me wonder what I've been waiting for. This sounds like a great summer read.

Anonymous said...

I recently read (and loved!) The Grand Sophy, and I have Heyer's Black Sheep on my bookshelf, too. This one sounds great -- I'm sure I'll add it to the stacks as well!

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Bibliophile, Anglophile, Traveller... I have been an avid reader all of my life, since I took the Dr. Seuss Dictionary away from my Mom when I was less than a year old because I wanted to read it myself. In college, where I earned my degree in English Literature, I was often asked "What are you going to do with it?" Now I finally have the answer to that question!!! Being employed as a Flight Attendant for twenty years has given me a lot of life experience and, better still, a lot of time to read. I love to travel for fun, too.