Risky Read Along

Welcome!

The Riskies are reading Georgette Heyer’s Venetia.

We’re shooting to read 7 chapters a week, but we’re open to adjusting numbers up or down so don’t freak if that seems too much or too little. Just let us know in the comments how things are going.

I’d love for our discussion to go … anywhere at all within the bounds of nice. The goal is to have fun talking about what we liked or perhaps didn’t like.

Sometimes it’s good to acknowledge even the obvious: The written word does not carry the same information you get when you’re in a face to face discussion — a lot of additional information gets lost. So, I hereby declare that we are all to interpret everything as having been meant in the best and nicest possible way.

Below I’ve listed a few things to think about while we read. Don’t think about the ones that don’t appeal to you and YES! Bring up your own reactions and thoughts. It’s perfectly fine to wait to see what others say. Remember, this is FUN!

Language (word choice, sentence structure etc)
What do you think of Venetia and her family?
Was there a place where you thought, Wow, this just rocks! Where and why?
Was there a place where you thought, Wow, this isn’t working for me. Where and why?
Favorite character
Class distinctions
What assumptions about gender are embedded and exploded in these chapters?
Given the opening, just how do you feel about foxes? (OK, so maybe I started reading already.)
How is Heyer’s story different from historical romance written in the 21st century?

About carolyn

Carolyn Jewel was born on a moonless night. That darkness was seared into her soul and she became an award winning and USA Today bestselling author of historical and paranormal romance. She has a very dusty car and a Master’s degree in English that proves useful at the oddest times. An avid fan of fine chocolate, finer heroines, Bollywood films, and heroism in all forms, she has two cats and a dog. Also a son. One of the cats is his.
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16 Responses to Risky Read Along

  1. Jane George says:

    Oh noes! There is not a copy of Venetia to be had in any county library branch. Just about every other Heyer though.

  2. Jane Austen says:

    I started reading it last night. I won’t give any spoilers, but it’s my first Heyer and it’s written in a different style than I expected. It’s a beautiful style, but not what I was expecting. The cover art is gorgeous, but I bought a new copy from Amazon so I’m pretty sure it’s not the original art.

  3. Judy says:

    My copy arrived moments ago, and I have to say that Nancy Warren is on my must read list, so it was fun to read her forward. Having only started the first page, I’m laughing out loud at the very dark humor. I really didn’t expect that.

  4. Merinitta says:

    I love Venetia and Aubrey’s relationship. I can’t think of the last book I read where a brother and sister had such playful, loving and funny conversations.

  5. My copy arrived today! I got the one with the Nancy Warren intro too, Judy. I am really looking forward to this! It will be a great break from my revisions.

  6. M. says:

    I didn’t manage to get a copy but am thinking about the questions in terms of the last two heyers I read (The Masqueraders and Devil’s Cub). I’m also going to import them to my bookclub for next historical we read (Wuthering Heights).

  7. Reiterating that I’m in and starting my re-read tonight.

  8. Diane Gaston says:

    I’ve started reading, too! I have the HQN version with Nancy’s intro. I didn’t read it, though. I want to form my own ideas (and I’m very suggestible)

  9. I’m reading on the commute and for the most it’s keeping me awake.

  10. I am reading my old 1958 Ace copy which is very yellowed! I haven’t read this book in year and am savoring it. I love the denseness of the narrative as compared to books written today. Most romances today would be well advanced by the end of seven chapters but Venetia and Damerel are just beginning to know each other. I love the literary allusions. It brings back college English courses!

    Characters: I think Edward is very much the man of his time. He doesn’t believe women should have opinions and wants only to take care of them. He doesn’t believe they can make it on their own. Damerel, of course, is very different. Because he cares nothing for the rules of society for himself, he also allows Venetia to be herself and not bound by societal conventions. For some reason, I have always liked Aubrey’s character. He is utterly self-absorped but is charming when he can be dragged away from his books. He and Venetia have a lovely relationship. Venetia is almost too perfect a character: lovely, well-read and with an independent lively spirit. However, she is not at all selfish and seems like she would be a fun person to know.

    Can’t wait to read on!

  11. Carolyn says:

    I have the HQN version too, and one thing that bugged me is COMPLETELY unrelated to Heyer. The font has this gap between ff and l (for words like afflict, eg) The first time I encountered it, I was looking at the words aff lict and trying to figure out what on earth kind of Regency cant that was.

    Anyone else with the HQN version noticing that? I got used to it, but it was quite strange. I felt like I was reading a period book with the fancy S’s that looked like F’s.

    But I love this book. (I’d say “so far” except that would be a lie. I finished it today.)

  12. Diane Gaston says:

    I noticed the ff problem in the HGN edition, Carolyn. Annoying, I agree.
    (I haven’t finished it….)

  13. Judy says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. SonomaLass says:

    Yes, the f-problem bugged me too. But I mostly stopped noticing it once Damerel showed up. (Not that I don’t love Aubrey, and Venetia herself, because I do. And I echo what Merinetta says about their relationship — good sibling interaction is priceless.)

    Heyer did a great job of showing the somewhat static status quo of Venetia’s life, and then disrupting the whole thing by bringing Damerel into the picture. I felt like I got just the right amount of character description and backstory before WHAM! here comes the story. I know the standard advice is “start at the moment when everything changes,” but Heyer starts just before that and it really worked for me.

    *My verfication word is johotica. I really what to know what that is now. And then I want some.

  15. Carolyn says:

    @sonomalass I think johotica might be some kind of skin disease. Or maybe it’s a breakfast bar. One of those two.

    And like you, the F-L thing stopped bothering me as much once Damerel was on the pages. Oh. My.

  16. I’ve got about 50 pages to go–I’m riveted! And this even though I have some trouble with the roundabout way they state things (which is partly me–in Little Women, I was well into the grieving of the remaining March sisters before I realized that Beth had died). I’m really enjoying how the obstacles and conflicts fit into the world–no sudden invasion of bandits or something.

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