Guest review by Brooke of The Bluestocking Guide
The Unknown Ajax begins with Lord Darracott reaming out his daughter-in-law over dinner for her prattle. Then the point of view switches briefly to the new servant Charles from whose perspective we learn that Lord Darracott is an extremely unpleasant man. What makes him more unpleasant is that his oldest son Granville is dead. Rather than his heir being Matthew Darracott, Lord Darracott must acknowledge Hugo who is Granville’s son with the daughter of a weaver.
Lord Darracott and the rest of the family expect Hugo to be a savage practically. So Hugo decides to oblige the family. The reader notices Hugo goes from speaking proper English to speaking some form of cockney. As the story progresses we observe Hugo learning more and more about his new family. Not all of it is pleasant. Of course, there is the patriarch who is distinctly unpleasant. Then there are Hugo’s cousins some of which are OK, others of which are ridiculous. All of cousins have suffered from their grandfather’s treatment. Then there is the house itself which has been allowed to fall apart around them.
This was the first Regency romance that I’ve ever read by Heyer. I liked the last part of the book. The first part of the book was a little bit slow. The conversations were a little hard to follow because there were so many idioms used. Certain of the cockney accents were impossible to understand. I was only able to guess as what was being said based upon the reaction of Hugo. I think if I heard someone speaking that way, I’d probably be able to understand it.
It was amazed by the snobbery the family exhibited. Even during that day, it was known that some of the merchant class were just as wealthy if not more wealthy than those with land and titles. Many of the merchant class were able to send their children to the high class schools. There really was not any reason that they should have expected Hugo to be backwards, but that’s just me.
Anyway, this book was OK. I would not mind trying another Heyer to see how the rest of them are.
The Unknown Ajax, by Georgette Heyer
Trade paperback (384) pages
Brooke is the webmistress of The Bluestocking Guide: Reviews by a Partial, Prejudiced, and Ignorant Reader. During the day, Brooke is a litigation attorney. Outside the job, she is an avid reader, amateur photographer, gym rat, and budding chef. She first read Pride & Prejudice in her teens and has been a devout Janeite ever since. Brooke first heard of Georgette Heyer novels from the Jane Austen community on the web. The first Heyer novel she read was The Unfinished Clue which she greatly enjoyed. Her main weaknesses are dark chocolate and coffee. You can follow Brooke on Twitter as bluestockingbb.
Celebrating Georgette Heyer – Day 15 Giveaway
Enter a chance to win one copy of The Unknown Ajax, 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 continental US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!
Day 15 Aug 25 – Review: A Civil Contract
Day 16 Aug 27 – Review: The Nonesuch
Day 16 Aug 27 – Review: False Colours
Day 17 Aug 29 – Review: Frederica