The Grand Sophy by Gorgette Heyer is not my usual Young Adult fiction read. I had a hankering for a humorous historical recency romance and that is exactly what I got!
When her father, Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy, travels to Brazil, Sophy invades her aunt’s house at Berkeley Square. Fresh from the Continent and an unusual upbringing, Miss Sophy seems cheerfully determined to set the somber Omsersley household – and the secret power behind it, Charles Rivenhall (the heir) – on it’s head.
The Ombersley family is in desperate need of Sophy’s intervention. Lord Ombersley is useless, Charles is becoming tyrannical and is engaged to a grim and uptight fiancee, Cecelia is smitten with an unsuitable poet, and Hubert is stuck in dire financial straights. Who better to help than their dear cousin?
Sophy proves to have her father’s hand for diplomacy, a vibrant and cheerful disposition, and a knack for match-making and scheming. Unconventional and blunt, Sophy is determined to set things right in the house in a manner only she is capable of. Socially savvy and smart, Sophy is a witty, charming heroine and I couldn’t help but cheer at her exploits and adventures.
This story fulfills my desires for a fun, clever female lead who knows how to tweak convention in the best ways. I had two complaints. One was an awful stereotypical description of a filthy criminal Jewish moneylender. (I got over that by pretending omitting the Jewish part in my head). Two was the fact the cousin thing. (I got over that by accepting that inbreeding was a thing back then, as gross as that is). Aside from that, I loved Sophy – she is so fun, lively, and full of mischief! I love how she unabashedly takes the house by storm.
I also LOVE happy, feel-good endings. Plus, the book is funny! I would very much recommend this book if you’re in the mood for a witty historical tale, vaguely reminiscent of Pride and Prejudice (maybe just in era alone, as this has MUCH more fun and fluff and less social commentary).