9 Jan 2011
Review: "The Grand Sophy" - A Grand Story
Do you know that feeling when you get a book in the mailbox that you have really really looked forward to? I had that feeling when The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer landed in my mailbox. I really enjoy Heyer's book, they are like a mug of hot chocolate on a really cold, snowy day. Until reading The Grand Sophy, my favourite Heyer novel was Regency Buck but after turning the last page of Sophy yesterday that had changed.
I have to say that at first I didn't go for the title. For some reason, the grand Sophy had manifested herself in my mind as somebodys great-aunt with arthritis and a pronounced deafness. The kind who's repulsed by anything "the young people" do... I couldn't have been more wrong. At all. The grand Sophy is Sophia Lacy-Stanton, 20-years old, grown up with her widowed father Sir Horace on the continent, able shot, clever, not one to mess with.
Sophy is sent to stay with her aunt and uncle and cousins in London while her father travels to Brazil. She takes the house with storm and is soon friends with her cousin Cecilia and a favourite with her other cousins - except from her eldest cousin Charles, the man of the house, who does not like her free, wild ways. Charles's fiancee, the snobbish and cold Eugenia, does not like her ways either and she soon sees it as her job to "help" Sophy fit in to London society.
However, Sophy does things her own way. All things. She sees a lot to be corrected and changed in the house that she now calls home and she soon takes it upon herself to stir things up and change it for the better. And what Sophy wants, she gets. Or rather, she makes happen. As she says herself, she is not missish and she does not care for the ideal feminine ways of the time which prescribes that she should be mild and submissive.
Soon Sophy is meddling in the forbidden romance between Cecilia and the poet Fawnhope who lives in his own mind, she tackles cousin Hubert's gaming debts and she has heated discussions with cousin Charles. Not to mention the fact that she gets into quite some verbal fights with his fiancee.
Every page of this book was a delight. Every single one. Sophy is a joy, I wish I was like her. She is like Elizabeth Bennett but less restrained by the customs of the era. She possesses a cool, a will and a heart that makes her irresistable and has given her the nickname the grand Sophy. She is the girl that girls want to be friends with and boys propose to. She has such integrity.
I will be returning to The Grand Sophy again and again, I can predict that already. This book will go on my shelf and I will look at it as a close friend. I might even have to buy an extra one to let people borrow because I can't imagine not having The Grand Sophy ready at hand when I need a friend to spend a quiet evening with. If you like Pride and Prejudice or any Heyer novel, please please please give this one a try.