Arabella by Georgette Heyer: A Book Review

A Feel-Good Fairy Tale for Adults

Why do people love this author so much? Myself included? You hear the same phrases in all her books, her characters appear to be interchangeable from novel to novel and they always end in marriage. And yet you can’t help, but love them.

I think it is because Arabella could meet The Nonsuch and his wife, The Marquis and Marchioness of Alverstoke, Mr. and Mrs. Standden, The Marquis and Marchioness of Rotherham any evening at Al Max that make her books so enjoyable. Her characterizations are subtle and truthful. It is a complete world. The world of Georette Heyer.

Her books are not great literature, but fun reads rich in character and the little foibles of every day life. Lite and happy; they are feel-good fairy tales for adults. It is the little things like taking-in a stray dog or child; containing a gaggle of ducklings; trying one’s luck at a gambling hell; or the fear of telling a husband about another large bill that set these stories apart.

Arabella is no exception. The beautiful, feisty daughter of a rector respectfully circumstanced, goes to London for a season. Her fond parents cannot afford a second. Through a series of jests and misunderstandings, Arbella becomes the talk of the town as a great heiress; something she is not.

Although Arabella enjoys her popularity to the fullest; she realizes it makes it impossible for her to accept an offer of marriage from anyone; especially the the nonpareil, Mr Beaumaris, who she is more attracted to than she will admit.

The book includes a wonderful description  of a young man losing everything through gaming his first time in London and what a gaming establishment may have been like.

The scenes of Mr. Beaumaris talking over his troubles with the little stray dog Arabella foisted on him are priceless and will delight any dog lover.

The performance by Phyllida Nash is superb in the audiobook. It is a wonderful bedtime listen.

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