Musings on a book

My daughter’s eight grade graduation was today.  It will take time for the video to upload and process so I’ll put that up tomorrow.  Today, I’ll talk about my current reading.

The book is “Fredericka” by Georgette Heyer.

Quite a few years ago (late 80’s), I “dipped a toe” as it were into category romance.  I even had a subscription where I’d get a half dozen a month.  I found them entertaining in small doses but only in small doses. (The subscription was too large a dose.) Eventually I went elsewhere.  More recently I’ve picked up an interest in Paranormal Romance (and whatever category you’d call it where instead of “Paranormal” it’s Science Fiction–there doesn’t seem to be separate marketing category for that but apparently readers do consider them different genres).  I can take larger doses of Paranormal Romance, possibly because the “Paranormal” pushes it higher on my interest level.  Or maybe my tastes have changed over the year.  The other was a long time ago.

But, since my own characters insist on having relationships that impact the story I have felt the need to learn to write romance as Romance–particularly since there’s little from my own life that I can draw on in that respect–the handful of relationships I have had over the course of my life have never gone well.  That would suggest that the problem lies…well, that’s not the subject of this post.

Friend and writer Sarah A. Hoyt suggested that if I wanted to learn to write “Romance” I would be well advised to study Georgette Heyer’s Regency Romances. (Others have suggested Heyer as a good author to study for plot and character.) So I’ve been adding them in between other books.  What I’ve generally done, with one exception (A Civil Contract, specifically recommended by Ms. Hoyt), is basically just search on her name on Amazon and pick up whatever’s at the top of the list that I didn’t already have. “Fredericka” is the latest.

I’m about a third of the way through it and, frankly, I find myself utterly enchanted with the title character.  Sarah said that the heroine of A Civil Contract was an “odd” (and I do see it).  I would submit that Fredericka is as well, although perhaps better adjusted than most.  What I like about it is that it plays a bit against what I’ve come to see as the standard tropes–where the heroine is a ravishing beauty and all that.  Fredericka is _not_, although she’s attractive enough.  It’s her sister who’s the ravishing beauty.  What Fredericka has is a remarkably capable and pragmatic mind (much like Jenny of A Civil Contract).

Frankly, its refreshing when set against all the drop dead gorgeous ravishing beauties and the studs who cause hearts to palpitate merely from sunlight shining from their oh-so-handsome faces.

I probably wouldn’t make a steady diet of these books but they make a nice change of pace from my more usual fare.

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