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Friday, September 2, 2011

Arabella by Georgette Heyer

Title: Arabella

Author: Georgette Heyer

ISBN: 978-1-4022-1946-7

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Format: Trade Paperback

Genre: Historical Romance

Pages: 312

How I Read It: from my own personal library

Rating: 4 Crowns
Synopsis (from Amazon): Daughter of a modest country clergyman, Arabella Tallant is on her way to London when her carriage breaks down outside the hunting lodge of the wealthy Mr. Robert Beaumaris. Her pride stung when she overhears a remark of her host's, Arabella pretends to be an heiress, a pretense that deeply amuses the jaded Beau. To counter her white lie, Beaumaris launches her into high society and thereby subjects her to all kinds of fortune hunters and other embarrassments.
When compassionate Arabella rescues such unfortunate creatures as a mistreated chimney sweep and a mixed-breed mongrel, she foists them upon Beaumaris, who finds he rather enjoys the role of rescuer and is soon given the opportunity to prove his worth in the person of Arabella's impetuous young brother...

Thoughts: I was immediately swept up in the story of poor girl Arabella who gets the opportunity to debut in London and hopefully catch herself a husband that will enable her to help all her other siblings.  Arabella is a delightful character who is beautiful and has lovely manners but cannot bear to be insulted or see injustices occur without stepping in.  When her carriage breaks down in route to London she seeks shelter at the home of Robert Beaumaris who she discovers is "the" man to know if you want to get anywhere in society.  She thinks he is handsome but when he assumes that Arabella is just a fortune hunter who made up the broken down carriage story just to get his attention and Arabella overhears this, she decides to tell a little white lie-that she herself is obscenely rich, plagued by fortune hunters and wants to keep this quiet as she makes her debut in London.  Unfortunately, soon this lie is all over London.  For reasons Arabella can't discern Beaumaris has decided to help elevate her to the top of London society.  At first it is just a game to him but soon he is charmed by Arabella and her unconventional ways.  Arabella's brother soon throws a wrench in things when he arrives in London and gets in over his head.

This is my first Georgette Heyer novel and I loved it.  I did find I didn't know some of the words that were used or the language was a little odd to me it is in keeping with the time period the novel is set.  There aren't a lot of surprises here because you know poor Arabella will somehow come out alright in the end and the one who appears to be the devilish rogue has a whole other more endearing side but still this is a very enjoyable story. She still does manage to incorporate a few elements you wouldn't expect-the rescuing of a street urchin and a raggedy dog because Arabella doesn't have the heart to leave them to their unfortunate circumstances. The plot in this kind of reminded me of some of the movies from the 30's and 40's I've been watching lately.  I can see why Heyer was crowned Queen of the Regency Romance.  I will be dusting off my collection of Heyer novels and reading through some more of them in the very near future.


Mystica said...

As usual this is another good one!

Book Purring said...

I haven't read anything by Heyer, but seeing so many people falling in love with her books is making more and more curious :)

Anonymous said...

Heyer is simply fantastic. Clever and chaste books that are timeless. I think I read a bio that she considered her regencies to be frivolous and wanted to write more serious works - but public demand kept her churning them out.

Oregon Kimm

Fairday Morrow said...

I have never read anything by this author- but your post makes me want to read her books! Well done!

I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published. http://thesecretdmsfilesoffairdaymorrow.blogspot.com/

Take care-
Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out why that happens sometimes and I can't fix it. :)