Thursday, 23 September 2010
My review and thoughts
Kitty is a pretty but unsophisticated young girl adopted by the disagreeable and ageing Mr Penuik, who upon deciding that his fortune will be Kitty's dowry invites all his nephews to Arnside house. To inherit the fortune, she must choose one of them to marry or she faces being peniless in the world after her guardian is gone. However the darkly handsome and rakish Jack Westruther who Kitty has 'fancied herself in love with for years' fails to turn up because he hates being forced into anything although he is his Great Uncle's favourite and the one he really wanted to see married to Kitty. The distressed Kitty who doesn't want her guardian's 'odious fortune' is forced to bear the proposals of the reluctant Lord Dolpington forced by his domineering mother into doing so and the sensible and dry Hugh who is to become a church parson.
When Kitty meets another of her cousins, Freddy Standen she persuades him to pretend to be engaged to her after recounting her situation so that she can travel to London to meet his family and make Jack jealous of him.
Although when doubts about her engagement to Freddy creep through after her month in London is up and the possibility of revealing the truth is discussed, Kitty begins to wonder: is Freddy the man for her after all?
There are a whole cast of typical Heyer characters in Cotillion: the old and eccentric uncle, the fussy spinster governess, handsome young rake, a pretty and young heiress, a fashionable and intelligent Pink of The Ton, a gorgeously beautiful but on the verge of penniless young girl and an exceedingly foolishly silly Earl. Their different personalities all wove together to create a vibrant and amusing set of characters that are very memorable.
When we first meet Kitty, a nineteen year old who has had a simple and sheltered upbringing she is very innocent and unaware of the ways of the world but a cunning and witty side to her is revealed in her plans. She has a good natured attitude which attracts many people to her side and induces her to help her friends in their romantic troubles.
The conversations and scenes with Kitty and Freddy together were lovely and amusing to read, one of my favourites is when Freddy is dragged all over London to look at all the sights in Kitty's guide book Picture of London such as the Elgin Marbles and The Tower of London.
Here's an extract from that part:
"No, but you see Freddy, they are so very old! They have been damaged!"
Verdict: Cotillion is a delightful dance of fun, mischief and love that lives up to the dance it is named after. in a rich plot that will keep the pages turning. With lovable characters and a brilliant London setting, it could be a perfect starter for a first time reader of Heyer's novels. Perfect to curl up with!