Guest review by Laura Gerold of Laura’s Reviews
Sprig Muslin is a light and funny Regency novel that showcases Georgette Heyer’s wit. I really enjoyed it and it made me laugh out loud several times! Sprig Muslin was first published in 1956, but the novel is set in 1813. The main action of the novel takes place in London, Chatteris (in the Fenland District of Cambridgeshire, England) and the roads in between.
This novel tells the tale of Sir Gareth Ludlow. His high spirited fiancée died in an accident many years previous to the start of the novel. Gary has decided he will never find love again and to just marry a friend, Lady Hester Theale, for convenience. Lady Hester is 29 and labeled an old maid – she also has ideas of her own about getting married!
On the way to propose to Lady Hester, Gary meets up with a young girl, Miss Amanda “Smith.” Miss Smith is in a local inn scandalously without a chaperone. Gary decides to chaperone her until he can find out her true identity and family. Hilarity ensues, especially with all of Amanda’s tales and adventures. The scrapes and misunderstandings were fantastic!
The version of Sprig Muslin that I read contained a forward from bestselling author Linda Lael Miller. I’d recommend skipping the foreword until you’ve read the novel. Miller basically tells the entire plot before you start the novel without giving any insight.
Sprig Muslin contains many of the elements that I love about Georgette Heyer novels. She has a quick wit to her writing and it is set in the Regency period, a time that I love to read about. Heyer’s characters are wonderful well-rounded beings. In this novel, in particular, I love that Gary is a wealthy, romantic man that is more than willing to do the right thing and help Miss Smith but seems to really misunderstand Lady Hester. Lady Hester herself is introduced by other characters as being a somewhat mousy lady that is “on the shelf”. I really enjoyed seeing her character developed through the novel into a strong and independent lady on her own. It was interesting in this novel as it explored a more mature love that arises from friendship with slightly “older” characters. Juxtaposed with the young, impetuous Amanda Smith and her first flush of love, it made for an interesting contrast.
Overall, Sprig Muslin is vintage Heyer with great characters, great setting, and great humor.
Sprig Muslin, by Georgette Heyer
Trade paperback (288) pages
Laura Gerold first fell in love with reading when her Great-Grandma Kile gave her the Little House on the Prairie series when she was eight. She has been unable to stop her reading addiction ever since, and discovered the regency world in her teens with Jane Austen’s wonderful novels. About five years ago, Laura discovered Georgette Heyer’s novels and was excited to find such a wonderful “new” author that really brought the regency world to life. She is a water resources engineer and mother of two, but loves to write about her reading obsession on Laura’s Reviews, a blog she started in 2007.
Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 13 Giveaway
Enter a chance to win one copy of Sprig Muslin, by Georgette Heyer (Harlequin, 2009) by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you about the plot or characters, or if you have read it, which is your favorite character or scene by midnight Pacific time, Monday, September 6th, 2010. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. Shipment to the continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!
Day 13 Aug 22 – Review: April Lady
Day 14 Aug 23 – Review: Sylvester
Day 14 Aug 23 – Review: Venetia
Day 15 Aug 25 – Review: The Unknown Ajax