One of Heyer’s Regency romances.
Sir Horace must post off to Brazil for some sort of diplomat-thing and his daughter, Sophia, must stay in England and look after Sancia, his fiancée. And the Rivenhalls are about to find out that Sir Horace’s “dear little soul…not an ounce of vice in her” is not exactly what they had expected.
For Sophy isn’t one to sit back and watch other people’s lives fall apart when, with just a bit of a push and some courage, one can help them through the muddle. Lord knows, the Rivenhalls have plenty of problems with Lord Ombersley’s debts, Charles’ taking on the management of the family and its fortunes…as well as his so-very-saintly fiancée, Hubert’s youthful problems, and poor Cecilia’s love affair with the beautiful, but ineligible, poet.
I think Sophy is the woman we all want to be. Confident, caring, and completely herself “without an ounce of vice in her” while Eugenia Wraxton embodies all that is unChristian with her tattling and overbearing strictures on what’s proper.
Charles Rivenhall is a man teetering on the edge. Overwhelmed with his father’s careless waste of the family money. Desperate to bring things back to rights, he’s easy prey for someone like Miss Wraxton. It takes a Grand Sophy to open his eyes and bring joy back to the Rivenhall family.
Not Heyer’s usual style, The Grand Sophy, is just that. Grand. Sophy is larger than life and with an open, realistic view on life which drives everyone around her nuts if only because it’s so unexpected of the women of her time and station. She’s an excellent example of the Christian ideal in her acceptance and trust in people. Not that Sophy is naive, for she is well aware of type and plans well for it.
Read it and laugh. Laugh your way through Sophy’s approach to life.