Sunday, April 17, 2016

GH In A Crotchety Mood

Slightly more recent finish, but only because it dragged on for a while - I'm pretty sure I started Lady of Quality either on my way back from Florida or maybe the Shabbos after, but with various busy Shabbosim and a Commentary, I only finished it a few weeks ago.  It's a Georgette Heyer, and one that I own, so obviously a lovely book but... I have to say, this one irritated me more than usual.  It was never one of my favorites, but I think it's fluctuated in line.  I haven't read it in a while (this was actually the first GH I owned, picked it up in the airport in England (or maybe it was Scotland) when I was there on my post-sem trip).  But right away, I found myself annoyed by Annis's intolerance of Miss Farlow coupled with Annis's tolerance of Ninian and Lucille.  It's funny, because I used to find GH's portrayals of "children" or young adults ridiculous for their unrealistically young behavior, but I guess I'm old enough that I find seventeen-year-olds (or however old they are) acting like babies to be completely realistic. So it wasn't that that annoyed me... more like, if they are that annoying, then why does Annis tolerate, indeed like, them so much? And just because Miss Farlow talks a lot, she's villified into this barely sympathetic sour creature.  I mean, of course I understand we're supposed to look down on her for being jealous of Lucille. But really, she isn't *that* bad, and I find Annis's unwillingness to put up with her foibles not very sympathetic when compared with her indulgent treatment of Lucille.  And it's much the same with Mr Carleton - we are supposed to sympathize with his and Annis's connection, because they have the same unwillingness to pander to the world and put up with silliness - but really, is silliness all that bad? Are people unworthy of sympathy because they are not intelligent?

I'm taking this all a bit too far of course, but I'm just trying to pin down what was bothering me as I read the book - this feeling of, but that's not what you should be feeling right now, no, you should be feeling less/more annoyed etc.  It really did get in the way of my enjoyment of the book.

So you didn't like the book, you'll ask? Well it was a GH.  I'll put up with a lot from a GH - Still my world, still my girl :)  But I'm not sure how soon I'll be picking this one up again.

Verdict: 4/5

It's interesting that this was her final novel - published posthumously I think. Perhaps it needed some refinement. Or perhaps it was GH getting crotchety in her old age, and passing it on to her characters :)

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