My first Heyer and it didn't disappoint. It's really a great book. Sophy is the master of sticky situations and what could be better than solving problems and falling in love in the process?
Great fun! In some ways it's the counterpoint to Jane Austen's "Ema," since Sophy meddles dreadfully but it all works out very well according to her plan.
This is one of the best of Georgette Heyer's novels. For anyone unfamiliar with her works, she is Jane Austen with an even strong sense of the absurd and the wit to see through people's pretensions. Sophy is the "not-so-little any more" niece of Lady Ombersley, whose arrival promptly sets the family's well ordered world on its ear. Her cousin, Charles, is at first infuriated and then gradually charmed by her no-nonsense ways, and it is clear that the family is in dire need of someone like Sophy to get them out of the doldrums. Charles' intended fiancee, Eugenia, who has a very fine opinion of herself and a very low opinion of everyone else, is one of those prim and proper young ladies who delight in point out others faults "so that they may improve". His younger sister, Cecilia, is in the midst of forming a disasterous relationship with a pretentious young man who writes very bad poetry, and his brother, Hubert, is into gambling debts up to his eyebrows. Sophy, very much the managing female she's accused of being, decides she's arrived in the nick of time to save the family from a disasterous ruin.
This is one of Heyer's most delightful books, full of fun and amusing characters, including Sophy's soon to be mama, Sancia, who seems to be straying from her desire to marry Sophy's papa. Through it all, Sophy maintains a firm hand on the reins, steering the family from the brink of disaster until all of them, most especially Charles, realize what a prize they have in Sophy. For anyone who's never read a really well-written Regancy novel, I highly recommend they start with The Grand Sophy. It's one of the very best.