10/04/2008

Friday's Child (by Georgette Heyer)

I love Georgette Heyer's writing. I have almost all her historical romances, most of them set in Regency England, and re-read them all every five or six years.

I last read 'Friday's Child' in 2002, but remember it with fondness as one of my favourites.

It's the story of Sherry (Lord Sherringham) and Hero Wantage, otherwise known as Kitten. Sherry is a rather reckless young man, who tends to get in with the wrong people and spend far more money than he should. However, he's blessed with some very loyal friends, and is basically kind-hearted, if rather selfish and immature.

Sherry has been chasing after his childhood sweetheart, Isabella, and finally manages to propose marriage to her. She turns him down, and in rather dramatic despair he swears he will marry the next female he meets. He doesn't actually want to be married, particularly, but would like to have control of his wealth, which is tied up with trustees until he is married.

Riding back to London, he comes across Hero, whom he also knew in his childhood, sitting on a wall and crying. Hero is an orphan who has been brought up by her cousin, but treated like a servant. She is only seventeen, and not particularly academic, and is about to be sent out to earn her living as a governess.

So Sherry decides he might as well marry Hero, which will entitle him to his fortune, and rescue her from a life of drudgery. Hero has adored and idolised Sherry for many years, and it seems like a dream come true. She knows he lives rather a wild life, but is very innocent, and certainly doesn't intend to try and reform him.

Naturally, neither of them really know what marriage entails, and behave like the immature youngsters they are, with Hero falling into scrapes and spending considerable amounts of money, although her main aim in life is to see Sherry happy.

The story sees them both growing up, as they quarrel and make up, meet various other people, and discover that they have to adjust somewhat to living with someone else.

Several amusing moments - Sherry's three close friends are delightful - and also a few places that brought tears to my eyes, even though this must be at least the fourth time I've read this book. Hero is a very believable young woman, and Sherry is surprisingly likeable too. There are a lot of excellent minor characters as well.

It took a few chapters to get going - to start with I couldn't quite remember why I liked it so much. But by the time I was half-way through, I could barely put it down. Excellent characterisation, great plot, very satisfactory conclusion.

Highly recommended to anyone who likes historical fiction of this kind.

Still in print in both UK and USA,and widely available second-hand.

1 comment:

Josette said...

Hi! So many other book reviewers seem to like this book except me! :/ This was my first Heyer book anyway. I'm going to try more of her books later.

Here is my review of it though. :)