23/06/2006

False Colours (by Georgette Heyer)

I do love Georgette Heyer's historical novels! I re-read them all periodically, each one about once every six or seven years, and enjoy them afresh every time. Despite a busy time I re-read 'False Colours' recently in just two days, picking it up every spare moment!

The story mainly concerns Kit Fancot, and his absent identical twin Evelyn. Kit arrives at his mother's house in the middle of the night, only to find that his brother has a very important dinner to attend the following day, but has not returned from a trip away. He is persuaded - against his better judgement - to masquerade as his twin just for the one evening, to save a great deal of embarrassment. But Evelyn does not return, and Kit is forced to continue...

As ever, the characters are quite delightful, cleverly drawn and realistic, and there is plenty of subtle humour and irony. There are one or two caricatures - like the grossly overweight and unbelievably wealthy Bonamy Ripple, or the tedious rule-driven cost-conscious Cosmo. But Kit, his mother, and her goddaughter Cressy are very well-rounded and likeable people, by no means perfect (indeed, the main problem faced by Evelyn is related to his mother's folly in the past) but all the more human for that.

Very enjoyable, and I already look forward to reading it again in another few years.

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