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The Reluctant Widow Paperback – 17 Sep 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Paperback, 17 Sep 1998
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd (17 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099435683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099435686
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,229,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Triumphantly good... Georgette Heyer is unbeatable" (India Knight Sunday Telegraph)

"My favourite historical novelist" (Margaret Drabble)

"A writer of great wit and style ... I've read her books to ragged shreds" (Kate Fenton Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

One of the best-known and most beloved historical novelists, Georgette Heyer has captured a whole new audience's heart. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this one again and again, with a grin on my face, and to the accompaniment of giggles, chuckles and tears of laughter. This is Heyer at her most clever and witty. On the surface, it appears to be another light, romantic adventure, but without losing credibility or delight, and never belittling her story or hero/heroine, Heyer manages not only to pull fun at her genre, but her plot, her characters and her own writing. Even her characters can't help but join in! Nothing is what it seems, no-one says what they think (except Nicky, who blithely and naively skips through the pages without realising he is part of a tremendous satirical romp), and the whole is a delightful, witty, clever froth. This is fun!
If you like this you must read 'The Talisman Ring': Sarah Thane is as delightful as Elinor, and the plot as outrageously funny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read all of Miss Heyer's novels, romances and mysteries, most of them many times over. This is my favourite of all. It isn't the standard Regency romance, as there are all sorts of other things going on too. Despite somewhat weak reasons the heroine, Elinor, is persuaded to become the Reluctant Widow of the title. This fast-paced novel has something for everyone - an old house with suits of armour and hidden staircases, treason, intrigue, mystery,French spies,murder, housebreaking and a couple of shootings for good measure, not to mention the heroine being attacked with a paperweight. It is, despite these things, a comedy, and the characters are excellently drawn and rounded, especially the irrepressible Nicky and his naughty dog, Bouncer, and the tale rattles on to a satisfactory conclusion with a hint of romance! The part where Miss Beccles ties the bedroom doorhandles together is priceless!

Note on Kindle edition: Kindle should be ashamed! Hardly a page without some editorial mistake, from basic typos through completely missing words to completely wrong words (there for their, exiting for exciting, etc). I was held up for some time by the word 'issued' which didn't make sense in the context until I realised that it should have read 'is used'. It's the editor's job to sort that out, not mine. Kindle, nul points, especially for the premium price. Why not employ editors with a grasp of the English language?
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Format: Paperback
The perfect companion for all history enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Elinor Rochdale has found herself on hard times, and answers an advertisement for a governess. When arriving at her post, things start to go awry, and she finds herself hustled into a marriage at midnight, which then becomes widowhood by dawn. But this marriage is only the beginning of what she has to contend with.

Lord Carlyon, the instigator of this marriage, proceeds to leave her in her dead husband's house (which seems to be haunted) with the rash and lively Nicky, his younger brother. And when people start turning up at all hours of the day and night, resulting in shots being fired, things look to be getting ever more complicated!

I loved this book, it was just what I needed to pass the time. It required little actual attention, and I was surprised with the amount of detail and characterisation within. Eleanor had much more depth than it appeared initially, and this gives the whole tale a modern flavour whilst retaining aspects like murder, intrigue and spying.

If you want a light hearted and fun romp, with a nice balance between historical romance, mystery and intrigue, this will give you that.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The Reluctant Widow is about Elinor Rochdale, a governess who gets in the wrong carriage and ends up marrying a man on his deathbed to prevent the man’s estate from being passed on. However soon her and the rest of the family realise that he may have been involved in a lot more than was thought. And Elinor is becoming more and more worried about her choice in marrying him.

The story was set in the Regency era and so had the feel of a Jane Austen novel. It was quite lengthy and wordy however I really enjoyed it and didn’t find my interest waned at all.

Elinor was easy to like, albeit being a bit tiresome occasionally, however for the era, she was quite witty and sensible. I really liked Lord Carlyon and his brothers – Nicky was a very loveable character. Really, the whole cast was excellently written and you got a feel for exactly what kind of person each of them were.

The book isn’t fast paced however there are a lot of incidents that happen throughout. I was surprised to realise after I had finished the book that only a week had passed in the timeline of the story! The book feels like it was a much bigger chunk of the character’s lives.

The story isn’t realistic or believable however I don’t really think it’s meant to be. It’s a light, enjoyable story that keeps you happily engaged.

Overall I really enjoyed it and I would definitely recommend it those who are looking for a light period fiction.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is woven around one of her more original plots. A gently-bred young lady, having fallen on hard times, is in process of taking up yet another depressing position as governess, when a misunderstanding involving her getting into the wrong carriage leads to a most unusual adventure culminating in the inevitable happily romantic conclusion.

The two main problems with this book are firstly, that one gets the impression Heyer wrote it in a hurry, and having thought up a good idea, never troubled to expand on the actual personalities in her story, which resulted in some very one-dimensional and unconvincing characters.

However, the second problem, and by far the worst, is that it has more typographical errors than I can ever remember seeing in any book before. There are mistakes cropping up in almost every other page - and sometimes in consecutive pages. Apart from the annoyance caused by such poor presentation, I found myself having to reread some sentences in order to try to make sense of the meaning. Sometimes. a crucial letter was left off the end or beginning of a word, but there were other times when the word was clearly changed, as if the typist had decided it must be wrong and substituted one s/he thought more appropriate. It really spoiled the book for me so much that I considered asking for a refund. I can't believe that the original printed book ever left the publishers in such a state.
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