Monday, April 18, 2011

"Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle"

When I'm not busy reading thrilling news stories about Kate Middleton's face on a jellybean, I like to pick up a Georgette Heyer novel. She writes smart, clean romances a la Jane Austin, set in the Regency Period. Yesterday Austin sent Sammy to get him some reading material for the bathroom, and she came back with "Sylvester, or the Wicked Uncle." He started to read it, because really he had no other choice, and ended up "caught in a book." This is a phrase I use to describe what happens when you start reading a book and can't stop. You neglect your duties and ignore your significant others and stay up way too late to finish it. Austin stayed up until 3:30 when he most likely remembered that our children wake up at 6 a.m. and he was scheduled to leave for St. George in four hours. Poor guy. I know he wanted to finish the book last night--he'll probably be trying to read and drive at the same time.

I usually find Georgette Heyer books at thrift stores since many are old and out of print, but recently Harlequin has picked them up and started republishing them. I am grateful more people are starting to appreciate them--but let's be honest, the name Harlequin does give them a lurid air. Librarians have started moving them from the fiction section to the romance section in the library, which is kind of an embarassing section to be getting books from. Also, Harlequin has best-selling authors write forewords for Heyer's books, which consist of a recap of the whole book. Way to ruin the story! Don't read the forewords if you find newer editions of her books.

"The Grand Sophy" is still my favorite of her novels, but "Sylvester" is quite the hilarious read as well. If you get tired of reading about famous people's faces being found in weird places, brave the romance section and take a chance on Georgette Heyer.


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