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The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
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The Grand Sophy (1950)

by Georgette Heyer

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1,954783,484 (4.28)269
  1. 20
    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons (Bjace)
    Bjace: While it's not in the same genre, the books are similiar. Both Sophy and Flora Post are Miss Fix-its, whose practical, problem-solving approach to life is a contrast to the silliness of their relatives. Also, both are delightful reads in different ways.
  2. 10
    Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer (moonsoar)
    moonsoar: The main females in both books are up to the same sort of shenanigans in both books.
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I had a great ride with The Grand Sophy, by Georgette Heyer. Thank you for the recommendation, Ilana! I had read a Heyer mystery, and liked it well enough, but it had none of the wit and sass of this one. The Grand Sophy is labeled a "Regency romance", but to me it is a comedy of manners, one that reminded me at times of Wodehouse with its humorous plot twists.

Lord Ombersley has badly handled the family finances, and son Charles, favored financially by a relative, has to take charge. He dominates the family by necessity, as he tries to extricate them from their difficulties. Nice Lady Ombersley lives in fear of Charles' opinions, brother Hubert, well in debt himself, is afraid of Charles, and sister Cecilia is frustrated by Charles' desire that she marry a financially sound wooer, rather than the Adonis-like poet she admires. In keeping with his upright, responsible views, Charles has become engaged to Miss Wraxton, a model of rectitude and an expert at depressing everyone.

Then Sophy crashes onto the scene, and disrupts everything. The daughter of Lady Ombersley's peripatetic and successful brother Horace, she has been raised to assert herself and trust her instincts, and her instinct here is to fix the mess this family is in. Clever and filled with common sense, she outmaneuvers frustrated Charles at every turn, and begins to guide the family and others toward a more satisfying alignment.

Charles fights back.

“Let me tell you, my dear Cousin, that I should be better pleased if you would refrain from meddling in the affairs of my family!”

“Now, that,” said Sophy, “I am very glad to know, because if ever I should desire to please you I shall know just how to set about it. I daresay I shan’t, but one likes to be prepared for any event, however unlikely.”

Sophy is indomitable, and hilarious. She's not fond of Miss Wraxton, and vice versa.

“I shall be much obliged to you, cousin, if you will refrain from telling my sisters that she has a face like a horse!’

‘But, Charles, no blame attaches to Miss Wraxton! She cannot help it, and that, I assure you, I have always pointed out to your sisters!’

‘I consider Miss Wraxton’s countenance particularly well-bred!’

‘Yes, indeed, but you have quite misunderstood the matter! I meant a particularly well-bred horse!’

Sophy is an extremely capable free spirit, able to handle horses and guns and men and women with dexterity and elan. “Is it not unsupportable to be held down to a canter when you long to gallop for miles?” She frustrates the heck out of poor Charles, and raises jiggery pokery to a high art.

“It is abominable, Sophy!"

“Yes, if the motive were not pure!”

Her joyfulness is irresistible, and we root for her to vanquish the villains and save the Ombersleys from themselves. There is one unfortunate hiccup with the stereotyping of a Jewish moneylender. Other than that, once Sophy appears on the scene, this one is a high-spirited gallop from start to finish. ( )
  jnwelch | Jul 1, 2015 |
Enjoyable but not very memorable. A bit trivial or flippant in comparison to the only other Heyer book I've read, the Civil Contract - I found that far superior. Still a nice read that I flew through and looked forward to returning to each time I read. Good characterisation in Charles and Miss Wraxton. Ending was a little bit abrupt - I wanted to see them all return to London to explain themselves to their parents. ( )
  aine.fin | Jun 23, 2015 |
Quite enjoyable. I liked the 2 main characters and I liked that it stayed faithful to their personalities at the end and didn't get soppy. Not sure I'll rush to read more Heyer but it was an interesting dip. ( )
  infjsarah | May 10, 2015 |
I was loving--LOVING--this Heyer book until the unfortunate arrival of the crassly stereotypical Jewish moneylender. Why, Georgette Heyer, why? I do realize that this was a sad stock character in all too many novels of this era...but still, it left a bad taste in my mouth. I was about to say "on the plus side, he's a very minor character and disappears once his role in the plot is complete." But I'm not sure it *is* a plus, since that makes his characterization seem even more unnecessary.

The good news, though, is that the rest of the book is vintage Heyer, and includes some of the funniest writing I've read in a long time. There's an exchange between Sophy and her cousin George about his fiancée's horse-faced appearance that made me laugh out loud, and the ending is pure bedroom farce: doors opening and closing, characters dodging around trying to avoid each other, and--just to add to the absurdity--a crate of ducklings. ( )
  rvhatha | Mar 20, 2015 |
Overall an entertaining historical romance with a exuberant heroine up to all kinds of antics. It had lots of enjoyable action but there was a couple times such as the beginning when it got heavy with describing everything. Sophy is sent to live with her aunts family and brings a whirlwind of activity interfering in everyone's romance.
( )
  Dawn772 | Jan 29, 2015 |
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The butler, recognizing her ladyship's only surviving brother at a glance, as he afterward informed his less percipient subordinates, favored Sir Horace with a low bow, and took it upon himself to say that my lady, although not at home to less nearly connected persons, would be happy to see him.
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When the redoubtable Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is ordered to South America on diplomatic business, he leaves his only daughter Sophy with his sister's family, the Ombersleys , in Berkeley Square. Upon her arrival, Sophy is bemused to see her cousins in a sad tangle. The heartless and tyrannical Charles is betrothed to a pedantic bluestocking almost as tiresome as himself; Cecilia is besotted with a beautiful but feather-brained poet; and Hubert has fallen foul of a money-lender. It looks like the Grand Sophy has arrived just in time to sort them out, but she hasn't reckoned with Charles, the Ombersleys' heir who has only one thought - to marry her off and rid the family of her meddlesome ways...
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140221894X, Paperback)

Sophy sets everything right for her desperate family in one of Georgette Heyer's most popular Regency romances.

When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt's family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she's done, Sophy has commandeered Charles's horses, his household, and finally, his heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:18 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt's family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she's done, Sophy has commandeered Charles's horses, his household, and finally, his heart.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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