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On Our Bookshelves – Frederica

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NOVEL: Frederica

AUTHOR: Georgette Heyer

YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 1965

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I read this one some years back when I was on a Georgette Heyer kick, breezing through her novels on my Kindle during my commute.  I recently picked this book up in paperback (free at the train station, a kind service the local library provides to commuters, from the books received as donations).  It was a rather sweet revisit and that’s not because of the romance, at least not entirely so. Yes, two unlikely people find happiness due to a shared sense of humor, making for a happy ending, but the main theme here, I think, instead of the romantic partnering, is the redemption of an unhappy and selfish man as he learns to appreciate family life.

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The novel is set approximately 200 years ago, in Regency England, and the action begins when the titular Frederica asks the Marquis of Alverstoke for his assistance.  She’s looking to launch her beautiful and sweet (if somewhat dimwitted) sister into society in the hopes she can make a good marriage. He agrees to assist her, but only for the purpose of thwarting his despised and conniving sisters and their eligible daughters, as he realizes that the lovely Charis will easily outshine them.  Alverstoke becomes, much to his surprise, rather entangled with their family, including two younger brothers and their rambunctious dog, and becomes a changed man: kind, generous, thinking of others before his own comfort. Frederica is changed too, learning, before she does irreparable harm, that she can’t manage everyone’s lives.  

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If you’re looking for a witty escape from life’s troubles, a romance in which both parties improve in each other’s company, and a portrait of a loving family, Frederica is for you.

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RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3 1/2 Whistles

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HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon

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Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a not quite 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.

Laura can be contacted at laura@newswhistle.com

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of Sourcebooks Casablanca

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