Book Review: The Convenient Marriage

The Convenient Marriage

Georgette Heyer

Sourcebooks Casablanca

320 pages

Oh Georgette Heyer, where have you been all my life?  I swear I had never even heard of Heyer before I started book blogging.  But she has gotten so much praise around the blogosphere that I thought I had better see what all the fuss was about.  Then the question became–where to start?  Because if there is anyone who wrote loads of books, it was Georgette Heyer.  I noticed that The Convenient Marriage had gotten some good reviews recently and I just so happened to find a copy on the new releases table at my library.  The rest is history.

The Convenient Marriage is the story or Horatia Winwood, aka Horry, an endearing young woman who is quite upfront yet also has an innocence about her.  She begs the Earl of Rule to marry her after he proposes to her eldest sister Elizabeth.  Elizabeth is distraught at the belief that she will be Lady Rule–her heart belongs to another and she is devastated at the thought of marrying a man she doesn’t love.  Horry secretly makes her way over to the Earl of Rule’s home where she explains the situation to him and offers up herself instead.  Surprisingly, the earl accepts.

The earl and Horry get along well but Horry is somewhat reckless and is often drawing attention to herself and her marriage. For one thing, Horry is unable to keep away from the card table.  She is constantly gambling and staying out until all hours in order to play cards.  Horry also insists on continuing on a relationship with ladies’ man Lethbrigde, much to the earl’s chagrin.

The whole book was a riot–Heyer is a satirical genius and she made the book so entertaining that it was difficult to out down.  Horry was such an appealing character–her stammer was distracting at times, but it also made her such a conundrum.  I just had to read on to see what kind of highjinks she was going to get herself into next.  And then her brother, Pelham.  He was just as amusing.  His gambling debt had encroached upon the family to the extent that Horry had to marry Rule in the first place, if only to pay off Pel’s debts.  Yet Pel continues to gamble himself into a hole with no end in sight.  I was hysterical at the point in the book where Rule was asking Pel how much debt he was in so that he (Rule) could pay it all off.  Pel’s response was that only part of the debt could be paid off because it would never do for his reputation to have absolutely no debt!

If you are a fan of Jane Austen, I think Georgette Heyer may be a good choice for you.  Her wit is more over the top than Austen’s, but that adds to Heyer’s charm.  I hope to read some more Heyer soon.  For those of you who have read her any of her books, which ones did you favor?

Other reviews:

Medieval Bookworm

Linus’s Blanket

The Bookworm

The Book Girl

The Curious Reader

I borrowed this book from my local library
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6 Responses

  1. What a wonderful review. I will definitely add this to my list!

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Beth Hoffman, Stephanie Dargusch. Stephanie Dargusch said: Book Review: The Convenient Marriage https://reviewsbylola.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/book-review-the-convenient-marriage/ […]

  3. Hmmm, I’ve never read any Heyer. I never realized she was so funny.

  4. I have read Georgette Heyer before, beginning in my teens. Her Regencies led me to Jane Austen :). I have just started reading through her books in order of publication. Glad to hear you discovered her–you have lots of reading enjoyment ahead of you!

  5. I had never heard of Heyer before blogging either, but now I love her! So glad you liked this book.

  6. I hadn’t heard of Heyer until recently either. But she seems to one everyone’s reading lists these days. I’m definitely going to have to pick some of her stuff up.

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