Book Club: The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

004

My book club is continuing to take turns choosing our discussion titles each month. We’ve read some really varied things this year, including a lot more non-fiction than we’ve ever read (we have another non-fiction title up in August), a golden age mystery, a historical literary novel and a classic novel. So I wasn’t really surprised when one of the members chose a Regency romance for our July discussion. The member who chose it wanted to read it because it is her mom’s favorite book and she thought it would be fun to read it with the group. Her mom lives in Manchester, England and we wanted to Skype her in for the discussion, but she was understandably nervous about the reaction to her beloved novel (also it would have been 3:30 am in Manchester when we started our discussion).

As it turned out, she needn’t have worried because we all loved it! Heyer’s blend of humor, clever dialogue, a brisk moving plot, historical accuracy and, of course, romance, is an absolute delight. The Grand Sophy starts when Lady Ombersley is asked by her brother to take in his daughter Sophy who has lived abroad for much of her life. Lady Ombersley is hesitant as she, her husband and her children are all under the thumb of her eldest son Charles, who’s recently become heir to his uncle’s fortune. She doesn’t think that Charles will want the expense and hassle of trying to find a husband for Sophy, but reluctantly agrees to accept Sophy into her home anyway. Little does she know what she’s in for – Sophy turns out to be a very high-spirited manager who handily fixes the family’s problems and easily discerns what would be best for them better than they really know for themselves. She’s confident, doesn’t take offense and is lots of fun – a really memorable character.

I wasn’t sure how the discussion would go since The Grand Sophy isn’t deep literature, but we actually had a very lively conversation about what the novel says about womanliness, romance, motherhood, and manipulation. It was one of the best discussions that we’ve had this year.

Next up we’re reading Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War by Karen Abbott.

 

14 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I’ve only fairly recently started reading Heyer’s romances and have been pleasantly surprised by how much detail and history is in them. Previously I had stuck to her crime/mystery novels which are also good.

  2. I love Sophie, I love her aunt’s family, I love the ending – and most of all, I love to hate Eugenia Wraxton 🙂

    If you need recommendations for further reading, let us know! Did you end up buying all those Heyers from the library sale after all?

    1. I bought lots of them one day and planned to take the rest the next day, but someone beat me to it. I recently found out, though, that it was another co-worker! So I can borrow some from her. I loaned my all my copies out to friends from book club, but I still have the copy of Cotillion that you so kindly sent me and that will be my next Heyer.

  3. I wouldn’t have thought this was a natural fit for a book club, but it’s awesome that y’all had such a good discussion about it. I love The Grand Sophy, and Georgette Heyer is a big comfort reads author for me.

  4. I love Georgette Heyer but there are a lot of her books that I haven’t read yet and The Grand Sophy is one of them. It sounds great and I’m glad your club found so much to discuss.

  5. Honestly, I do love this novel. I first read it when I was 12 years old and I read it many times throughout all these years. This novel means to me what Pride and Prejudice means to most Jane Austen lovers. Effectively, Sophia Stanton-lacy will always be my favorite fictional character ever!

    1. I can see why you love it – it is so charming and fun! I really enjoyed it too and I’m so glad we read it for my book club. What other Heyer novels would you recommend?

Thank you for reading and commenting.

%d bloggers like this: