Guest Review: The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer (1962)

 “An impetuous flight

Tiffany Wield’s bad behavior is a serious trial to her chaperone. “On the shelf ” at twenty-eight, Ancilla Trent strives to be a calming influence on her tempestuous charge, but then Tiffany runs off to London alone and Ancilla is faced with a devastating scandal.

A gallant rescue
Sir Waldo Hawkridge, confirmed bachelor and one of the wealthiest men in London, comes instantly to the aid of the intrepid Ancilla to stop Tiffany’s flight, and in the process discovers that it’s never too late for the first bloom of love.”

 You know when you start something, you sort of mentally assign an amount of time you expect it to take? (I’m actually wondering if anyone else does this now…) This is one of those books that just slaps that poor mental list onto it’s unprepared butt. I went into The Nonesuch expecting a short, fun, easy read with a sweet love story. I got a sweet, fun, love story that, while completely amazingly well written, was definitely not an easy read. This isn’t the fault of Heyer though, really it’s more to her credit. There were some parts that were so absolutely perfect that I had to kept reading them over until they sank in properly. So this 300 page novel actually took me 5 days to read.

I think it is interesting to see how reading tastes change over the years. At 13 or 14, I was demolishing romances of all kinds faster than my mother could find them for me (I love my mother). But now, at 22, I’m loving an odd combination contemporary YA and literary fiction. Going back and reading a historical romance was… odd. But interesting.

It’s also kind of interesting to see how the romance novel itself has changed. The Nonesuch was originally published decades before I was born but there was so still so much in common with the popular romance novels of today. You have the lovers who have to overcome some obstacle to be together and much sighing and sadness before they can get there. This of course, is what it is all about. There wouldn’t be nearly as much to love if they could just be together…. Most of all, I liked how the story suited the time period perfectly. I loved the very strong heroine and the dashing love interest and nothing was too revealing or sexy. There were still  definitely enough swoon inducing moments and escapism for me!

And now, I will definitely be stalking the rest of the Heyer posts to choose my next trip into the realm of romance. Thanks for having me and happy reading!

~Lisa of Baffled Books

*Don’t forget to enter to win one of two fabulous Georgette Heyer Prize Packs from Sourcebooks. Also each “meaningful” comment on any Georgette Heyer post (including this one) in the month of August at Stiletto Storytime will also get you additional entries.*



Filed under Adult Books, Events, Georgette Heyer, historical fiction

13 responses to “Guest Review: The Nonesuch by Georgette Heyer (1962)

  1. Mary Preston

    I find that I can still enjoy a book by Georgette Heyer. They really have not dated, because they are period pieces to begin with. “The Nonesuch” is one I have never heard of before. I must read it.


  2. mamabunny13

    Can you imagine what the people of that era would think of everything going on in 20011? Shocking! lol

  3. I read Devil’s Cub by Heyer recently and I found the formal speak slow to read. But in the end the book was such fun, that it went quite fast for me.

    I agree that the books don’t feel dated, because they are about a time period even further back. I love that period. Makes for a good read.

  4. I’m a “new-ish” fan of Heyer and this is one of the books I’ve read as well. I loved it and agree that you still feel that tension between them … the spark. In general – I’ve found that she does an excellent job at dialogue. I like reading the exchanges between the main characters. Someone told me that if I liked Jane Austen then I should read Heyer because she wrote great dialogue -which is one of the things Austen is known for. :o)

  5. Heyer is one of many authors I need to try. It sounds like her writing is wonderful.

  6. I recently read Heyer for the first time, and I agree – it’s definitely not a light, easy read (but can be so much fun!). I giggled my way through the book I’d picked.

    Also, I totally adore strong heroines and I loved that the one in my book (and yours too it looks like) wasn’t the fainting, “oh save me!” sort!

  7. Julie Witt

    I love historical romances and the more I hear you describe Georgette Heyer’s books, the more I want to read them. I would rather read an awesomely written book that you want to keep re-reading portions of because they are so good than a contemporary book that everyone’s reading but isn’t written nearly as well 🙂

  8. stilettostorytime

    I have to say after reading this review I am excited to get into some of Heyer’s later works such as “The Nonesuch”. Right now I am reading “Cotillion” which is much more light hearted and an easier read I think…it was written in 1953….I wonder if as her writing progressed it became more detailed and period-like? That’s one of the reasons I have decided to put publication dates with each review…anyone have any ideas on that theory? And thanks again to Lisa for participating in the event! Great review. ~Courtney

  9. Tressa

    This is one of my favorites by Heyer because, unlike many of her other books, both the characters are moral (he’s a confirmed bachelor, but isn’t a rake as many think he is and like most of Heyers leading men). They also are both intelligent and respectable. The plot was fun as well. My all-time favorite of Heyer’s if The Grand Sophie – even if you’re not a Heyer fan, this is a great read.

  10. I don’t think that I’ve read this Heyer title. It sounds really good, though.

  11. I love Heyer! I have almost got the complete set of all her books, and it has been well worth it since I often go back and re-read them!
    She has so many good characters and somehow brings them alive really well.
    She also wrote 12 mystery novels, but I dont think they have quite the shine that her romance novels do.

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