Saturday, August 28, 2010
Posted by JaneGS
Laurel Ann’s month-long celebration of the works of Georgette Heyer at AustenProse inspired me to read another of this prolific author’s fun novels. After reading and commenting on many of the reviews, I found that Faro’s Daughter struck my fancy and I wasn’t disappointed.
I started it on Wednesday during my plane ride to NYC and finished it on the return flight to Denver last night. What a great escape from the toils of the workaday world!
I thoroughly enjoyed the premise of Faro’s Daughter—that is, the heroine, Deborah Grantham is the niece of Lady Bellingham, who runs a high-class, high-stakes gaming house in London in a benighted effort to make ends meet. Deb and her brother, Kit, are orphans, raised by their widowed aunt, and Deb is fiercely loyal to her aunt, quick-witted, good-humored and proud and respectable. Unfortunately, society is prejudiced against her and when young, impetuously romantic Adrian falls in love with her and declares his intention to marry her, his family is dead set against the match. In the wonderful world of Heyer, his family includes an uncle, Max Ravensclaw, who sets about to tear asunder Adrian and Deb, when she has no intention of marrying him at all, and a wild, madcap convoluted mess results as Deb and Max match wits, battle royal, and….you guessed it!....fall in love!
I absolutely adored Deb—funny, smarter than is good for her, heart of gold, and with the patience of a gnat. I also thought Max a charming hero—gruff, “fusty,” and honorable. I also loved that Heyer allowed him to be hoisted by his own petard—that is, instead of being the unflappable, always in control type of hero, he jumped to erroneous conclusions, was hoodwinked left and right, which made him all the more adorable.
I also enjoyed the secondary characters—Lady Bellingham was fussy and funny without intending to be—fluttering and chattering and almost drowning in the wake of Deb’s whirling dervish escapades. Their henchmen, Silas and Lucius, were also fun, off-the-wall characters, and Adrian was yet another fresh-faced, earnest, enthusiastic dandy.
Finally, I really enjoyed Heyer’s much celebrated attention to historical detail and lapped up the gaming house scenes with their dialogue about the games played and the protocol involved in the betting. Even the fact that houses such as Lady Bellingham’s existed was news to me. Here’s yet a whole new area for me to read up on!
Acid test? In the final scene where all is sorted out and the right couple shares a kiss, my heart gave its patented quiver of delight and I knew that I had a new favorite for my reread shelf.