A lot of this book hinges on the voices and accents of key characters, and they're so well done here they enhance the story. This is my favorite Heyer narrator so far; wish he'd done more of them.
I'd recommend listening to The Reluctant Widow not only to female friends or to Heyer fans, but to anyone who enjoys a funny story set in a time different than our own. Narrated by Cornelius Garrett, it's a hilarious farce.
Cornelius Garrett's voices and readings were like a play. I'm not very visual, but I realized I was watching all these people talk in my head as he narrated them. His characterization of Cousin Francis alone is almost worth the entire experience. He transformed a decent story into a very good and memorable one.
The narration is what makes this one so good. The story itself, underneath all the antics and dialogue, has some weaknesses. The romance we know is going to happen isn't very well developed; there's too much else going on during the period the two are getting to know and appreciate each other. We know they will, but could use a little more "show," before the telling. To read any Heyer book specifically for that purpose, though, is to miss out on a lot. But the entire set-up is absurd, anyway, and none of it is to be taken very seriously. Listen to this one, if you liked but didn't love reading it. You might change your mind.
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