The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer
“The Nonesuch” is one of quite a few Georgette Heyer books being released this summer. It now seems strange to say, but three or four months ago I had never heard of Georgette Heyer, who writes historicals, historical mysteries, and Regency romances. Then, suddenly, her name was EVERYWHERE. I saw reviews, I saw people in just about every group on LibraryThing referencing her, I saw her in bookstores, and I heard people talking about her in real life. Evidently she was this absolutely beloved author and I had no idea why I had never heard of her or read any of her work.
When I was contacted with the opportunity to review some of her work, I decided to remedy that. I chose one of her books (I didn’t want to take more than one then hate her and have to get through all of them) more or less at random and settled in with it. Because of everyone who LOVES Heyer I had high expectations and was originally a bit disappointed, but changed my mind by the end of the book.
The title character of “The Nonesuch” is Sir Waldo Hawkridge, who earned his nickname by being an unparalleled sportsman. He has recently inherited an estate from a now-deceased cousin and traipses across the English countryside to a small village in Yorkshire with his younger cousin to view said estate. The arrival of two such prestigious men as The Nonesuch and his cousin Julian, Lord Lindeth cause a great deal of commotion in the town, particularly among the young ladies.
The first thing that made me think I would NOT like this book was the simpering of the ladies when they discovered that The Nonesuch was coming to their small town. Yes, simpering. No other word would describe it. “I cannot go on,” I thought, “if the rest of the book is anything like this!”
Luckily, it wasn’t. It took me until almost the midway point to get into “The Nonesuch,” but I’m glad I gave it a chance. I can definitely see why Heyer would be on the top of so many lists for a comfort read. The works are a bit reminiscent of Jane Austen, since she basically wrote Regency romances as well. They are fluffy, but not as fluffy as something like “Shopaholic” or other modern day chick lit. They are romances without sex and nudity, no gratitous love scenes, and everyone gets what they deserve in the end.
It took me a bit, but I enjoyed my first foray into Heyer’s work, and I would definitely like to have a few of her books in reserve, ready for when I need a comfort read.