cataloging

Review: The Convenient Marriage

This definitely isn't a favorite Georgette Heyer novel for me, but I do find the structure interesting in that it begins with the marriage and then focuses on the relationship developing after the event.

Reasons I shouldn't have enjoyed the story:

  • Horatia, the heroine, is very young and foolish at times--and usually I can't bear to read/watch characters do dumb things that are going to bite them in the butt, especially when other characters warn them off

  • The 'plot' rests upon a number of coincidences, which I frequently find irksome

  • Horatia also consistently stutters, and that almost always drives me nuts

  • Aside from Horatia and her husband finally reaching a complete understanding at the end of the novel, just about nobody gets anywhere. In the other Heyer novels I've read, most of the main and supporting characters have some change in attitude/circumstance by the end of the story, and that's not really the case here, aside from the villains of the story

  • There are villains instead of antagonists; this is true in some of her other works, but usually not quite so ... blatantly

Reasons I did enjoy the story:

  • Horatia's actions, however foolish, do seem to fit with her personality and understanding of her circumstances--thereby somewhat mitigating my usual discomfort with that sort of character

  • Heyer is often a delightfully witty writer, and this book is no exception

  • Horatia's hopeless gambler of a brother, Pel, gets some nice opportunities to prove that he's actually a good brother and not a complete idiot

  • The duelling scenes are sketched out quite nicely, which can be very hard to do in written form

  • As always, Heyer does an excellent job of framing out a place and time that feel very distinct and different from our own--which is not a skill to be taken for granted

All in all it was mostly fun--I meant to read a couple chapters and instead wound up getting through the whole novel in a single sitting--and if someone asked, I'd definitely recommend it, but I wouldn't suggest this as an introduction to Heyer's works.