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Pondering the pages ~ False Colours by Georgette Heyer

March 5, 2009

Today’s pondering:

falsecolours1False Colours by Georgette Heyer is the March pick for the Historical Fiction Lovers Book Club (at Facebook) started by Jennifer of the The Literate Housewife blog fame.

Here’s a synopsis of the plot line:
A missing twin …

Something is very wrong, and the Honourable Christopher Kit Fancot can sense it. Kit returns to London on leave from the diplomatic service to find that his twin brother Evelyn has disappeared and his extravagant mother’s debts have mounted alarmingly.

A quick-minded heiress …

The Fancot family’s fortunes are riding on Evelyn s marriage to the self-possessed Cressy Stavely, and her formidable grandmother’s approval of the match. If Evelyn fails to meet the Dowager Lady Stavely in a few days as planned, the betrothal could be off.

A fortune in the balance …

When the incorrigible Lady Fancot persuades her son to impersonate his twin (just for one night, she promises) the masquerade sets off a tangled sequence of events that engage Kit s heart far more deeply than he d ever anticipated with his brother s fiance who might know much more about what s going on than she cares to reveal…

I knew before I even started this one that trouble was brewing. How did I know? Well when one of first descriptive sentences I come across is Reading Georgette Heyer is the next best thing to reading Jane Austen. ~ Publishers Weekly then I know it’s not going to go well.

I cleared my mind of any presumptions, fired up the Kindle and promptly started at section one. Things got off to an OK start not nearly as rocky as I thought they might be. I muddled my way through most of Chapter 1 the first night. It was very late and her writing style and vocabulary is a bit tricky so I put the Kindle down intending to start fresh the next day. Well day two of False Colours was exactly what I’d expected before starting the book – not my style. While I think the storyline is interesting and would actually be quite funny and entertaining I can’t get past the awkward vocabulary. It’s the writing and speaking style used for the story setting that throws me for a loop. Because Ms. Heyer is meticulous in her research and stays true to time and place the Regency slang is difficult for me to understand. Just as I don’t have children to interpret the language of today’s young people I need a code breaker to get through this book. I’m spending more time figuring out what the characters are saying or the point they’re trying to make than I am enjoying the story. So I diligently read Chapters 2 & 3 before calling it a day with this author.

Ms. Heyer is a favorite of many and her books continue to be re-issued long after they’ve gone out of print. Amazon even has some in Kindle edition which attests to her staying power.

For me though this one goes in the DNF pile.


Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~ Author Unknown


  1. March 5, 2009 12:45 pm


    I’m with you on this one. It was so lackluster and the language got in the way. There was also a lot of “this is what we’ll do” instead of just doing it. I enjoyed most of the characters, but I didn’t like this novel anywhere nearly as much as The Reluctant Widow. I would definitely not have sent this to you if you hadn’t found the Kindle version. Don’t completely count GH out, though. I think you would really enjoy TRW. I will keep you updated on the rest.

    • March 5, 2009 6:47 pm

      OK, so I won’t toss her in the ‘Do Not Read Again’ pile quite yet. If I ever get a free space in my reading maybe I’ll check out TRW from the library or download free sample Kindle chapters from Amazon. 🙂 I trust your judgment.

  2. March 5, 2009 1:35 pm

    I read most of Heyer when I was in high school and college and loved them all. Now I try and go back and read them, and just don’t like them. I still love Jane Austen though.

    • March 5, 2009 6:49 pm

      That just goes to show how one’s reading tastes can change over time. There are authors I’ve read and dropped also.

  3. March 5, 2009 4:20 pm

    Marcia, I tried to struggle through books like this. I hope it gets better. In my experience as you read more the dialect gets easier to adjust to. I hope so for your sake. Otherwise…I say ta ta to the book. I know you have oodles in your TBR pile.

    • March 5, 2009 6:50 pm

      I do have oodles in the my TBR pile and like many others of us it just keeps growing. I did drop this one after chapter 3. Too many other books calling to me.

  4. March 5, 2009 5:02 pm

    I know a lot of people like her work, but I’ve never read any of it. So far, it just doesn’t seem real appealing to me.

    • March 5, 2009 6:52 pm

      It didn’t appeal to me either quite honestly but it was the March pick for the Historical Fiction Lovers book club so I thought I’d at least give it a try. I will take Jenn’s recommendation on The Reluctant Widow but it most likely won’t be any time soon.

  5. thebluestockingguide permalink
    March 7, 2009 5:37 pm

    She’s becoming quite popular Ms. Heyer!!

    One year later

    • March 7, 2009 11:45 pm

      To have her books being re-issued and converted into eBook format is quite a testament to her writing and popularity.

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