by Georgette Heyer
Opening line–“There was only one occupant of the coach, a gentleman who sprawled very much at his ease, with his legs stretched out before him, and his hands dug deep in the capacious pockets of his greatcoat.”
This is a bit spoilery, but then again, it’s Georgette Heyer. How do you expect it to end?
Despite the fact that my taste in Georgette Heyer books has changed fairly radically from the time I started reading them, this is still one of my all-time favorites. Somehow the awesomeness of Mary trumps everything else. Because Mary is awesome, period, end of story.
Vidal is pretty great too–you do get a sense of him as an actual person fairly early on in the novel, which I think helps. Certainly he’s a hyperbole of a Romantic Hero, but in those few moments when he’s uncomfortable at the thought of facing his father you can see the young man Mary falls in love with.
I also love the exchanges between Leonie and Fanny. Those two are great, and they play off of each other so well! Leonie’s relationship with her son and husband also help to make both more sympathetic and human.
But really, I just love it. This is all justification for a fait accompli.
Book source: public library
Book information: first published in 1932