Sunday, 16 February 2014
Audiobook Review: False Colours by Georgette Heyer, Narrated by Phyllida Nash
Omigod this book was SO FUN. It was just pure delight and put a smile on my face more than once. Which felt a bit silly because I was listening to an audiobook, usually on public transport, and sitting there grinning like a fool to myself. But I didn't care because it was awesome. What could be more fun than twins switch places?
Oh right, hot twins switching places. In Regency England. And having to pretend to be engaged. And actually falling in love. And all the many complications such a situation entails. You see, Lord Denville disappears, which is not necessarily something for his family to worry about, coz he's like that, except he's supposed to meet his new fiance's family. It's a marriage of convenience on both sides but it's important because his mother is badly in debt and he needs to get married to get his inheritance and help her out. Luckily, his twin Kit, who lives overseas, has a bad feeling in his gut and shows up just in time to pretend to be his brother for one night for the important dinner. Except one night turns into weeks when his brother's fiance's grandmother invites herself and her grandaughter to stay with Kit-as-Denville and his mother at their house in the country. Hilarity ensues.
But, importantly, this story isn't mere farce, thanks largely to the touching and genuine-feeling relationships. Kit is devoted to his brother and mother - indeed it's the only reason he allows himself to be dragged into the kerfuffle to begin with - and both are equally devoted to him. There is so much endearing affection in every interaction between the three, but especially between Kit and his mother, as it's their relationship that is at the centre of much of the book. I also really liked the openness and communicative nature of Kit's developing relationship with Cressy, false identity notwithstanding. There was a delightful chemistry between them and it was all very charming. Even Kit's relationships with his devoted-but-blunt servants were heartwarming.
Phyllida Nash was a great narrator, with an engaging voice, distinct and natural-sounding characters and easy pace. However, perhaps because I'm not overly familiar with Heyer's writing, having only read a couple of her works years ago, I did struggle with the language a bit. While it being an audiobook helped somewhat with understanding the tone, it did have the downside of not really being able to stop and look up a work or phrase when I needed to (otherwise I would have been doing so constantly). A few times I was a bit confused and had to relisten, and eventually I did look up a Heyer glossary which helped a little. But I didn't really mind relistening, anyway - in fact, I quite enjoyed it. That's how much fun it was. Even without fully comprehending everything, I adored this story, and definitely want to read - or listen to - more of Heyer's work.
Published: 2013, AudioGo
Get It: Audible