Heyer Discussion: [Friday's Child]

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Heyer Discussion: [Friday's Child]

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Mar 17, 2009, 8:01 pm

A small group of us are going to read Friday's Child by Georgette Heyer this week and discuss it this weekend. Feel free to join us.

Mar 18, 2009, 12:35 am

I am starting tonight, is that OK?

Mar 18, 2009, 1:09 am

Sure. I would have started tonight, but I spent all yesterday evening finishing Territory by Emma Bull for a discussion group this evening, so needed to spend all tonight writing the report I need tomorrow morning at work! Looking forward to digging into it tomorrow evening. I figure we have enough different reading rates that if we give everyone several days to work on it, we should all be done by Saturday. It's a quick read.

Mar 18, 2009, 1:11 am

#3: Since I am juggling it and several other books, having a few days to read it is appreciated :)

Mar 18, 2009, 2:20 pm

Just finished Chapter 3. Will now get down to reading it since St. Paddy's Day is over!

Editado: Mar 18, 2009, 7:23 pm

I wasn't going to do this. But I (a) finally acquired my own copy of this book a few weeks back (95p in a charity shop, and almost as new!) and haven't read it yet, and (b) am feeling thorough miserable after a rotten week. So I'm going to join in, even if I am supposed to be doing sensible grown-up responsible things rather than skiving to read fluff novels.

Mar 18, 2009, 9:08 pm

The more the merrier, Caty.

Mar 19, 2009, 12:09 am

#6 CatyM

Heyer may be fluff, but at least it's "high class" fluff. :-) She's mentioned in Michael Dirda's book Bound to Please!

Mar 19, 2009, 6:00 am

Oh, I've had Friday's Child lying around for awhile (the covers of the new editions of Heyer's books are so pretty I kind of buy them compulsively); what a perfect excuse to read it. I'll start today.

Editado: Mar 19, 2009, 7:43 pm

Here's my cover, if it works. I'm on chapter 19 right now.

Mar 20, 2009, 10:37 pm

I'm about halfway through Friday's Child right now, and just wanted to pop in to say that I am loving it so far!

Mar 21, 2009, 12:50 am

Great! I finished last night, so whenever people get done, check in and let's start discussing!

Mar 21, 2009, 12:58 am

I should be done sometime tomorrow hopefully, Sunday at the latest!

Mar 21, 2009, 8:02 am

I've finished it.

Mar 21, 2009, 12:24 pm


Let me start the discussion by saying that I loved this book, so thanks to Roni for recommending it!

While I liked Hero and Sherry very much, and enjoyed watching them develop as a couple, I thought that Sherry's friends, Gil, Ferdy, and George are really what makes this book such a great read. They are hilarious, particularly Ferdy, who says the most laughable things. George was probably my favourite - he is so controlled by his emotions, always wanted to duel, and embracing Isabella in the most inappropriate way :)

So, what did everyone else think?

Mar 21, 2009, 1:01 pm

Cait, I think you have put your finger directly on what makes this one of Heyer's best. She always has great side characters, but in this book, they are developed so fully and so drolly that they DO make the book.

Mar 21, 2009, 1:30 pm

And I think they work very well *together* as a group of young men. They're convincing as men in their early 20s who are going out and drinking too much and spending too much and doing all the things that young men do - but who are are also starting to mature and settle down a bit, but keep discovering that they haven't quite got the hang of the whole 'responsible adult' thing yet.

It's the same, I think, with Hero and Isabella. They're convincing as young women in their late teens who are trying to function in a grown up world but haven't quite got the hang of it yet. I also liked how all the young men start out be seeing Hero as a little sister, and Isabella as a distant object of adoration, and the then we see the relationships change through the book.

One of the things I like best about Heyer is the way she wrote such convincing, complex and varied relationships between characters. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships, rivalries and family dynamics too. There are several books where the mother-son relationship is significant, and I think there is added richness to this book because of the dowager's interactions with Sherry and Hero and Isabella.

Mar 21, 2009, 2:06 pm

I enjoyed the "older," more parental set of characters as well. I thought that Heyer did a great job of contrasting Sherry's mother with Ferdy's, and with Gil's grandmother. The Dowager reminded me a bit of Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice - always fainting, putting on a "delicate" act, etc. It is interesting that there really wasn't a father figure - Hero's father is dead, Sherry's father is dead, and Isabella's and Ferdy's are barely mentioned. Even Sherry's uncles are not strong forces within the novel. I found this odd, since the young men play such a large role - but then again, they make so many mistakes, ones that probably would have been less likely to occur if there was a father figure to give advice.

I have to say though, that I really did not like Isabella at all. Maybe it was just because she is Hero's opposite in so many ways, but I found her to be spiteful and prone to believing the worst in everyone. I think George could have done much better!

Mar 22, 2009, 1:05 am

One of the interesting things about Heyer, other than the fascinating secondary characters she creates, is that she enjoyed mixing up traditional romance tropes. This book had both a young heroine and a young hero. Some of hers have mature women and mature men. Some have older men and very young women. In some of the books, characters very much like Hero and Sherry are secondary characters. Sometimes the alpha male gets the girl--and sometimes he doesn't!

Mar 22, 2009, 3:23 am

#18: Isabella does not bother me so much, Cait. I think a good deal of the problem with Isabella stems from her mother ('the ambition of her parent').

I love the part of the book where Hero promises to 'comport herself with utmost propriety' and then of course, promptly does not!

Overall, it is a fun book with a great supporting cast.

Mar 22, 2009, 1:21 pm

There are some gems of dialogue sprinkled throughout the book. What was everyone's favorite?

Mar 22, 2009, 2:15 pm

I've finished the book now, and I thought it was very fun. The duel between George and Sherry had me in stitches. I liked the line George had, something to the effect of if he'd known Sherry could hit a tree at 25 paces he would never have agreed to duel him. Oh, and George and Sherry fighting over who the seconds were going to be (I pick Gil *and* Ferdy!). Georgette Heyer really is hilarious.

Mar 22, 2009, 2:31 pm

Basically any conversation between the men was laugh-out-loud, especially Ferdy's lines. Here is one bit I loved, when they are talking about Sir Montagu's baby:

Sherry: "'But what on earth should take him to seduce this wretched girl -'
'Oh, I don't know, Sherry!' interposed Ferdy fair-mindedly. 'Pass the time away - devilish dull, I dare say!'"

I also love this speech of Ferdy's, when Hero is talking about leaving Sherry:

"'Thinking of someone else, Kitten! Not Sherry! Very good sort of fellow, my cousin Sherry. Thought you liked him!'"

Mar 22, 2009, 2:32 pm

What about you Roni? Favourite lines?

Mar 22, 2009, 3:49 pm

How about the Shakespeare conversation when Hero first meets Sherry's friends? Ferdy thinks Sherry has mistaken her name because it's not a woman's name, and Hero says she's in Shakespeare and so is Ferdy, upon which Ferdy exclaims, "If that don't beat all...Must tell my father that. Shouldn't think he knows." and Sherry refuses to be out of Shakespeare because he's named after his grandfather. "Very bad ton, my grandfather. Regular loose screw. NONE of the Verelsts ever had anything to do with Shakespeare." And Ferdy's Nemesis fixation.

Mar 22, 2009, 7:23 pm

Yes, the Nemesis parts were great - I loved Sherry and George being all confused about a Greek friend of Ferdy's!

Mar 22, 2009, 7:56 pm

I do not have one particular bit of dialogue that stands out, I just enjoyed all of it!

Mar 22, 2009, 8:07 pm

Have finished it! I don't know if I liked it as much as you all did, but I did enjoy it. My main problem was that I liked the secondary characters much better than the main couple. Sherry was especially unlikable to me, and Hero was kind of a ninny. I found that, by about two thirds of the way through, although I was amused by their antics, I honestly did not care whether or not they ended up together.

Gil, Ferdy, and George were hilarious, however, as was the dowager. I will definitely read more of Heyer, as I did enjoy her style and thought that it was a fun, funny book. Hopefully I'll just find the couples in her other books more romantic!

Mar 22, 2009, 8:27 pm

As I said above, Marcia, Heyer likes to experiment with all the combinations! And, with regency aristocratic females marrying around age 18, there are a number of young, immature females. I enjoy Hero, and also Horry, in A Convenient Marriage, but I get irritated with Nell in April Lady and Arabella in Arabella. I suggest that the next you read have one of Heyer's more mature couples, such as Black Sheep or The Toll Gate or The Reluctant Widow. Only the first has the characters interacting in high society a lot, and that is in Bath rather than London.

Abr 3, 2009, 9:57 pm

Looks like we've wrapped this one up, gang! Thanks for joining me for a quickly visit to Regency London. Hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and let me know if you'd like to do it again in a different vehicle.

Abr 3, 2009, 11:01 pm

Thanks Roni!

Let me know if you do another one. I did read with you and follow the threads--and discovered I liked Friday's Child better "the second time around!" :-) Maybe I needed to be older to appreciate the humor of the "foolish young!"

Fev 11, 2010, 4:08 pm

i'll start reading this tonight