Faro's Daughter - Georgette Heyer book club no. 12

(35 Posts)
LeonieDeSainteVire Fri 02-Nov-12 23:01:45

In which many deeply improbable events occur: a very rich and unattractive man turns out to be our hero complete with kind heart; a feisty young women involved in running a gambling den eventually collapses in tears and realises all she wants is a man's strong arms around her; same feisty young woman spends whole novel declaring she hates the man only she doesn't really; same woman again persuades gently born girl whom she has never previously met to run away from home; very rich man is kidnapped, manages to escape and this apparently makes him fall in love with his captor.

It's all just so unlikely it becomes irritating. Max's transformation I can just about live with although I do not think he would have forgiven Deb the kidnapping but Deb drives me wild. It is not possible to think you hate someone, find them loathsome, then actually realise you're in love. It doesn't work that way and I don't care if it's a literary device widely used it is very annoying. Whilst we are at it, burning through a rope tied round your wrists, I doubt it, with a candle?? As for the rest, Adrian is wet, Phoebe is worse, is she the most irritating girl so far? I think so! Lucius is a plot device with a cod Irish accent and so unlikely. The only one I have time for is Lady Bellingham who is funny.

Oh, and the worst bit, the bit that nearly made me through it across the room . . . When Adrian says something about Deb not needing a man to protect her and she thinks sadly about how wrong he is - aaargh! She's as wet as Phoebe really.

So, am I wrong? What do others think?

Yay! Have had somewhat shitty 24h nowhere near a book (DH largely to blame) so will mark place and come back.

This is a really good week for me to read a book I love to bits.

DilysPrice Wed 21-Nov-12 16:56:26

Here you go.

Please don't shun me forever blush.

Have started now. Know it so well it will only take a couple of hours.

Might hide in the bathroom after s night feed to get a couple of chapters done, if they're good'uns.

Also waiting patiently for Dilys' revelations. Please post linky on this thread as I'll be hopelessly late/absent otherwise blush

LadyDamerel Tue 20-Nov-12 21:39:34

I have absolutely NO idea what this realisation could possibly be.

Can we guess?

Is it to do with the characters?

DilysPrice Tue 20-Nov-12 21:37:47

It's quite blush-making actually.

I'll compose my thoughts and put the thread up tomorrow.

LadyDamerel Tue 20-Nov-12 21:06:12

Go for it Dilys, people tend to contribute as and when thy can and I'm sure most people remember enough to know what you are talking about.

I'm intrigued as to your realisation....

DilysPrice Tue 20-Nov-12 20:59:31

When can we start Friday's Child? I have come to a staggering (for me, other people will not be fascinated) realisation and wish to share ASAP.

Read faster Horatia!

LadyDamerel Tue 20-Nov-12 13:35:24

Horatia, this one's pretty good too, if you mentally replace the trousers with buff pantaloons or riding breeches....

And this one can be your GH hero of choice. He's Alverstoke, for me.

Ooh thanks LadyD that is indeed much better.

<use as: wallpaper: ok>

As you were.

He looks like a Dwarf with his big head and beard (warming to this look, as it happens, <eyes DH doubtfully> ) but has POINTY HOBBIT EARS in that ^North & South photo.

Let's have Friday's Child soon - I'm starting ASAP. Can't wait!

LadyDamerel Mon 19-Nov-12 19:51:43

grin at Horatia thinking RA looks like a Hobbit. I think you'll find he's more of a dwarf, actually wink.

This one's better, although the cravat isn't quite right for a GH hero.

Sylvester is my favourite out of the 3 audio GHs he's done. His Venetia sounds nothing like the Venetia in my head, plus the abridging has meant vast swathes have been left out which annoys me as I've read the book so many times I know what's missing, so I've only listened to it the once.

When are we starting Friday's Child? I need to start marking all my favourite bits.

thewhistler Fri 16-Nov-12 21:11:20

Only just found this and haven't reread FD yet. I have gone through phases, loving it to begin with, being amused and yes, titillated by the desire for mastery, and finding Lady B delightful, the antithesis of Caroline Massey. And rather liking Adrian, when I was 16, although Max was obviously the hero by whom one wanted to be mastered.

Then later, just irritated by the sparring. I don't enjoy ivo and Serena much for the same reason now. Or indeed Judith Taverner so much. Kit I never found interesting, but I always wanted to know whom Arabella married.

On the code of honour, yes it has gone. But 20 or so years ago I was involved in something where someone was blackballed from his club and thrown out if his regiment. He committed suicide immediately afterwards. And my own great grandmother's first husband "had a shooting accident", I think he may have been caught cheating at cards. (Had he been found in bed with another woman no one would have cared, another man and there would have been a separation and he would have gone to live on the continent.) So the honour thing rings true to me.

The cod accent is infuriating. But I do find Deb appealing when she implores Max to listen and says men of his stamp are very fascinating. You realise what a very hard life she has had.

I will now go to read it again and see what I think this time.

I think it's just the background. He looks like ... well, like a Hobbit.

LeonieDeSainteVire Fri 16-Nov-12 14:44:14

Oh I agree Dilys I was shock when he said that. In fact I may have argued with the radio at that point!

Horatia it's from North and South, and his ears are not odd. smile

DilysPrice Fri 16-Nov-12 14:24:35

Have just listened to A Good Read podcast, thanks Leonie. I used to like Peter White, but angry honestly, anyone who can say that Friday's Child, Devil's Cub and Faro's Daughter have all got the same plot is no longer my friend, pioneering work on disability advocacy or not grin.

Leonie, where's that picture from? DEFINITELY fits the audiobook although his ears are odd.

Friday's Child is absolutely one of my favourites, even though Sherry is such an arse throughout.

LadyDamerel Thu 15-Nov-12 22:08:47

I hated Faro's Daughter the first time I read it and skimmed most of it just to get to the end, but I thought I'd give it another shot for this.

I still hated it though, it definitely languishes at the bottom of my GH pile and I can't quite put my finger on why I dislike it so much. It's more than just finding nothing likeable about any of the characters or finding the plot preposterous; there's something about it that feels quite un-GH-like. It seems much clunkier than her usual writing and the laugh out loud funny bits are missing.

Can't wait to start on Friday's Child though....

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 15-Nov-12 21:41:18

Oh, linky thing possibly! It may work . . .

LeonieDeSainteVire Thu 15-Nov-12 21:40:04

Horatia I think this is the picture you should be looking at whilst listening to your audio book wink

Radio 4's 'A good read' discussed Faro's Daughter on Tuesday! I've only just heard it, interesting but I think our discussions are better - see what you think!

I imagine Ormskirk would have "run" Deb and Phoebe simultaneously - one as a sexy mistress, and one as a dutiful wife. He hints to Ravenscar that that is what he is after. He is only just not ruthless enough not to try to ruin Lady Bel, and that's because other people would have found out, rather than because he thinks it a bad thing per se.

RA is a demi-god so I was bitterly disappointed at his inability to act whilst reading. The voices are awful. I think I miss the very GH-style flashing eyes. Shame he's wearing a false nose in this picture otherwise it would be very swoonsome.

I think the heroes generally are hilariously rich, or certainly by our standards if not their own. Often GH portrays them as attractive/kind/interesting despite their wealth (in fairness, she does the same of women).

MooncupGoddess Wed 14-Nov-12 13:53:45

Yes, they are mostly vair rich. Even those who don't initially seem well off (Hugo in The Unknown Ajax and Miles in Black Sheep) turn out to be rolling in it, in both cases through trade. And even Sherry in Friday's Child has a massive inheritance on the way. A few (eg Carlyon in The Reluctant Widow, and I think Gervase in The Quiet Gentleman) seem to be just reasonably well-off minor nobility, but most heroes are actually idenitified as having masses of loot.

I think it would just seem wrong to have a hero who was going to rely on the heroine for money. Apart from A Civil Contract where of course that's the cornerstone of the plot, and is not 'traditionally romantic' for that reason.

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 14-Nov-12 09:47:06

I don't think there are any heroes really on their uppers (except Adam) but quite a few where money is or could be problem - Charles in The Grand Sophy is having to try to repair the damage done by his father although he has had an inheritance himself there is still talk of years of careful management ahead. Jack in Tollgate is comfortably off but definitely not rich. False Colours is all about their money problems IIRC? Are there more? Personally I like the fabulously rich ones, it makes the escapism even more extreme - diamond studded heels anyone smile

DilysPrice Wed 14-Nov-12 09:03:26

Excellent stuff Horatia. I feel nervous about commenting now smile, but that's never stopped me before.

I think because it's not a Regency novel she allows herself more dramatic licence with the plotting (the kidnapping, Phoebe running away) and also takes the arranged marriages / threat of prostitution further than she would in a novel set later - we're in no doubt that Ormskirk is the most realistic fate for Deb. Actually I think it would have weaker if Ormskirk had also been Phoebe's suitor - it would have made him too much of a mustachio-twirling villain to be attempting to buy a child bride and a mistress simultaneously, and also I think Sir James is meant to be physically repulsive, which Ormskirk isn't. Ormskirk is a realistic threat, and Lady B pines after him as the solution to all their problems, because he's respectable, reasonable, he has a code, he's slightly attractive. There's a sprinkling of these men throughout Heyer - attractive and classy but fundamentally immoral. Sometimes, like Avon and Rule, they get redeemed, sometimes they don't, but they normally don't get any punishment apart from losing the girl.

Plus Filey is (and has to be) too rich for Ravenscar to have won the mortgage off him, so that part of the plot wouldn't work without a major fix.

All this talk of money has made me think - how many Heyer heroes aren't filthy rich? Adam in a Civil Contract of course (though he has to become so in order to have a happy ending). And Charles in Infamous Army. Sherry in Friday's Child (our next book?) Who else?

LeonieDeSainteVire Wed 14-Nov-12 08:16:14

<<wonders if Horatia's toddler has been talking to my toddler re the desirability of waking one's parent in the early hours hmm >>

I'm so glad, Horatia you came back and revised your earlier opinion of Kit, I read your earlier post and thought shock and didn't know how to respond grin

I agree about the role of money in the whole of life in this period and it is a reminder of just how limited women's options were then. It's actually very scary to think about and the miserable lives of well born women reduced to being companions or governesses is something GH returns to again and again, it obviously bothered her too. Deb is feisty and doesn't want to be forced to accept an unwanted carte blanche but realistically, what would have been her other choices had Max not come along? She was ruined socially by working in a gaming den and had no means of supporting herself.

With regards to the money/gambling, I don't think we should be too hard on Lady B, she can't manage her money but she was by no means alone in that! The reality of men ruining their entire families at the gaming table was, if not common, far from unknown in this period. You can really see why there was a later social back lash against extreme gambling and the almost puritanical moral code of the Victorians (although more middle class and often over exaggerated) must have been a response to some of these personal and social disasters.

I have just been reading Cotillion and the French cousin in that goes back to run his gaming house very happily and it is portrayed as exciting so it's not quite true to say GH always shows gaming in a harsh light after this.

Glad you are enjoying your audiobook Horatia, LadyD and I and others are always happy to convert another willing victim to the joys of RA's speaking voice and his face, and his body!

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