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Vintage Book Review: Venetia – A Must Read for Jane Austen Fans

venetia-georgette-heyerI have often read the suggestion that fans of Jane Austen will probably enjoy books by Georgette Heyer. So, when I picked up Venetia I had high expectation. And the book happily surpassed all those expectations.

One of the most beloved heroines of Georgette Heyer, Venetia, is cheerful, vibrant and a breath of fresh air. After her recluse, slightly eccentric, father’s death Venetia lives alone with Aubrey, her younger brother, in their country house.

Aubrey is an intellectual. He prefers the company of books to people and suffers from a physical disability that causes him to limp adding to his irritability. Happy with her freedom and content with her life, twenty-five-year-old Venetia remains practical and refuses to fall for either of her two suitors who hardly suit her tastes.

Life continues in its normal course for the siblings until the arrival of their new neighbour, Lord Dameral, who is infamous for his rakish ways. Despite everyone’s fear and ample warnings that association with Lord Dameral would only corrupt an innocent girl like Venetia, she finds herself fascinated by him from their very first unusual meeting. As luck would have it, Aubrey injures himself falling off his horse and Dameral comes to the rescue. Both men fall into an easy camaraderie sharing interests and matching in high intellect.

This provides a reason for Venetia to be in Dameral’s company often. The two strike up a steady friendship which only deepens with every encounter.

A must read for anyone looking for a Jane Austen-like romance between an undeniably attractive good hearted rake and a fiery headstrong heroine.

Georgette Heyer gives the hero and heroine ample pages to actually spend time together and fall steadily in love. Every single one of their conversations is witty and humorous. One of my favourite exchange takes place when Venetia, who is extremely well read, compares Dameral to a Byronic Hero. From his casual elegance to his extensive travels, sardonic smiles, tragic past and lonely life, she spots an ideal Byronic Hero in him.

However, with the entry of an unexpected addition to Venetia’s family, this summer idyll must come to an end.

Not willing to give up on her chance at happiness, Venetia has to devise a way to make Dameral propose. Though there is nothing in the world that he wants more than to make the beautiful intelligent Venetia his wife, his honor refuses to jeopardize her position in society by marriage to an outcast like him. When another unexpected character from the past shows up in the present, Venetia comes up with an ingenious idea to make sure she, Dameral and Aubrey get their happily ever after.

I loved the fact that the hero and heroine get to spend such long uninterrupted hours together and there is always a spark, mirth and delightful banter in their conversations.The frequent references to other famous prose and characters add to the storytelling. The detailed descriptions of the countryside, the households and characters feels authentic and is immensely enjoyable.

Overall, the novel is light, breezy, funny and whimsical. A must read for anyone looking for a Jane Austen-like romance between an undeniably attractive good hearted rake and a fiery headstrong heroine.


four and half rating border

“You had me at hello.”


four heart border

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My

feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me

to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

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By on August 4th, 2015

About Rhea Sinha

Rhea Sinha is a software engineer by profession, a writer and reader at heart. She has grown up on, and not grown out of, classics. Now, living in the beautiful city of Seattle her secret desire is to chance upon a glittering brooding vampire one day. On a cloudy evening you will find her curled up with a murder mystery or watching the newest shows on tv. She hopes to become a full time columnist someday.

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