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The Reluctant Widow | [Georgette Heyer]

The Reluctant Widow

Penniless Elinor is rather surprised at the carriage that meets her from the stage, and more so at the decayed grandeur of the house to which she's transported. Realising that there has been a case of mistaken identity she agrees to an audacious plan.
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Publisher's Summary

Penniless Elinor is rather surprised at the carriage that meets her from the stage, and more so at the decayed grandeur of the house to which she's transported. Realising that there has been a case of mistaken identity she agrees to an audacious plan.

©2008 Georgette Heyer; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (471 )
5 star
 (257)
4 star
 (135)
3 star
 (60)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (6)
Overall
4.4 (326 )
5 star
 (188)
4 star
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3 star
 (43)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.5 (324 )
5 star
 (204)
4 star
 (78)
3 star
 (34)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 02-28-10
    Joseph R Dry Prong, LA, USA 02-28-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    720
    ratings
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    "The Governess's New Position"

    This is my first experience with this author and narrator. They are impressive. This is a kind of fairy tale along the lines of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with the fiery Elizabeth crossing swords with Darcy. I also think of Jane Eyre as she is confronted with Thornfield and its moody master which should give an idea of the relationship between hero and heroine. There was obviously intensive period research into the time and setting of the story. While I wasn't looking for any false notes, I didn't detect any. Georgette Geyer writes as if she were a contemporary of Austen or Bronte. An author who can bring to life espionage, treason, murder to say nothing of a solid romance, all at a rather creepy mansion is an accomplished writer. Geyer writes with a kind of tongue in cheek amusement, a potential pitfall which Cornelius Garrett embraced as his own. His narration took the book seriously while allowing its innate humor full play. He shines! This is one of those books which I would never buy at say Books a Million. Can you imagine me, a rough, sixty year old man in jeans and work boots browsing in the women's section much less walking around with actual chick lit in my hands? I don't think so. Don't you just love the anonymous nature of audio books? Only Audible, the six people who actually read this review and myself will ever know.

    77 of 77 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta Suffolk, VA, United States 04-07-09
    Marcheta Suffolk, VA, United States 04-07-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    224
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    "My Favorite Georgette Heyer book"

    I've been waiting for this one to appear for download and I was over the moon when I saw it had been added. I love the opening interview, the hero's kid brother and his dog, and all the misunderstandings. I have the cassette version, which I had to order from the UK, so I'm thrilled to get the download version for my iPod. The narrator is great and I just want to give audible a great big THANK YOU for making it available.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MARIA Miami, FL, United States 08-16-09
    MARIA Miami, FL, United States 08-16-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Francis Cheviot steals the show."

    Garrett's portrayal of Francis Cheviot is one of the most entertaining interpretations I have ever heard. Garrett brings all his characters to vivid life. Well done.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie Meriden, CT, USA 06-12-09
    Valerie Meriden, CT, USA 06-12-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "More Heyer books please!"

    This is probably my favorite of Georgette Heyer's romances. It has suspense, humor, and romance. The narrator is very good. Voices are distinct but not weird except for the lisp of Mr Cheviot. I've read all of her books many times but somehow listening to them brings out points I've missed before.
    More of the murder mysteries would be wonderful too!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Mount Hermon, CA, United States 05-25-09
    Elisabeth Mount Hermon, CA, United States 05-25-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "An Enjoyable Audio Book!"

    Thank You Audible for having recorded so many Georgette Heyer books. I have read all of them but I really look forward to listening to them. I hope you can keep on recording other books of hers to audio.Cornelius Garrett does a great job reading these books as do the other readers. I especially like him reading A Quiet Gentlemen. I look forward to seeing in audio format of Sylvester, Frederica, The Grand Sophy, and Simon the Cold Heart. Thank you again Audible for the great service you render.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Bozrman, MT, United States 07-27-09
    Marian Bozrman, MT, United States 07-27-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Reluctant Widow"

    I could sit down and listen to this one again and I just finished it. I laughed -- not only at the humor of Georgette Heyer, but at the wonderful vocal characterization.

    You will enjoy this one.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathleen Richmond, VA, United States 07-05-09
    Cathleen Richmond, VA, United States 07-05-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    43
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    "Thank you, Audible!"

    Funny & intelligent, somehow I had missed The Reluctant Widow in my exploration of Georgette Heyer. Perhaps not as perfect as The Grand Sophy or Cotillion, still a very pleasurable experience. The reader was excellent. Thank you, Audible, for finally making so many of Heyer's book availble. More please!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne PORTLAND, OR, USA 01-16-10
    Anne PORTLAND, OR, USA 01-16-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
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    Overall
    "Very outdated novel, but delightfully read"

    Georgette Heyer wrote about a period that had all the quaintness and charm of being a hundred years in the past. Anyone approaching a Heyer novel today has to recognize that Georgette herself is now almost a hundred years in OUR past, and must be willing to forgive her for political incorrectness that didn't exist in her day.

    Heroines like Elinor Rochdale, who can drive her own phaeton and who doesn't hesitate to argue and snipe with a peer of the realm, would have seemed lively and modern to an English reader in the 1930s, though she seems ridiculously tame and even annoyingly dependent to us in the 21st century.

    I give this audiobook four stars because despite the outdatedness of the material, Heyer's grasp of Regency language, her ability to build vivid characters entirely through sparkling dialog, and the lively, very G-rated, and mostly harmless romp she takes us on is a lot of fun.

    What's more, Cornelius Garrett brings just the right degree of plummy upper-crust RP English (with some lovely regional dialect) to the story, and a nice blend of narration and acting. As another reviewer has said, his Francis Cheviot is absolute genius. The production itself is simple but entirely professional. It was nine hours of very enjoyable listening.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Oakpoint, TX, USA 08-29-09
    Cynthia Oakpoint, TX, USA 08-29-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "ONE OF MY FAVORITES"

    GEORGETTE HYER IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS. I LIKE HER ROMANCES MUCH BETTER THAN HER MYSTERIES. SHE IS KNOWN FOR THE HUGE AMOUNT OF RESEARCH THAT SHE DID BEFORE SHE WROTE EACH BOOK. HER CHARACTERS SPEAK IN THE MANNER OF THE DAY. THIS ASPECT OF HER WRITING MAKES IT HUGHLY ENTERTAINING. THERE ARE ENTIRE WEBSITES DEVOTED TO HER THAT EXPLAIN THE LANGUAGE,THE CUSTOMS, THE CLASS SYSTEMS, ETC. THERE IS EVEN A BOOK CALLED "THE PRIVATE WORLD OF GEORGETTY HEYER" THAT DELVES MUCH DEEPER INTO HER WRITING. THE NARATOR OF THIS BOOK IF VERY GOOD.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Folsom, CA, United States 05-28-09
    Julie Folsom, CA, United States 05-28-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    "Great Book!"

    One of my favorite Heyer books. I wish Audible would add more of her books.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • gill
    larne, United Kingdom
    3/24/13
    Overall
    "Four stars for the narrator"

    Easy going storyline for a relaxing afternoon, it will make you smile. But by far the best thing about this Audible book was Cornelius Garrett. A masterful reading and a name to look out for.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Alison
    Stanford-in-the-Vale, United Kingdom
    6/24/12
    Overall
    "Excellently read!"

    This book is excellently read, with a large range of voices. However the story is even more implausible than others of Georgette Heyer's, but worth listening to if you are a fan!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Angela Whitear
    6/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good read"

    I particularly enjoyed the narrator as I find mans voice has far more variations which makes it easier to identify the characters.
    This is a cracking good story which keeps surprising right to the end.
    I always enjoy a feisty female lead character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Barbara
    5/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My taste."

    I have enjoyed this easy to read Author
    for many years. It is very exiting to be able to be reminded of previous delight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J King
    5/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Narration"

    This is one of my favourite Heyer's and is superbly read by Mr Garrett - I will look out for more titles read by him.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kate
    Chipping Norton, United Kingdom
    4/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great characterisation"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Reluctant Widow to be better than the print version?

    no


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Francis Cheviot - for being devious whilst pretending to be superficial


    Which character – as performed by Cornelius Garrett – was your favourite?

    Francis Cheviot - because he's brilliantly camp


    Any additional comments?

    Less romantic than some of her other books but very entertaining none the less. I have previously not liked the way that Cornelius Garrett has read other Georgette Heyer novels but I have to say he's done a brilliant job with the different characters in this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • donna
    3/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the pleasure of a good reading...."
    Any additional comments?

    ....can improve a good book and make great one better.
    Heyers regency series are an easy and engaging read, cleverly packed with so much accurate historical detail and lingo that overlooking them would be a mistake.

    Sometimes with Audiobooks, you can lose who is speaking in an episode of lively dialogue - not so with this narrator as Cornelius Garrett has distinct voices for each of the characters and of the elderly governess is a little irritating - well, i can forgive that; I imagine elderly governesses may well have a crotchety wavering voice.

    Along with Jonathan Cecil - this is now a narrator whom I shall look out for; one who would make me more inclined to buy the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kelly
    3/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great performance, but not the best heroine"

    I do really love this audiobook. The performance of Francis Cheviot is exceptional - one of the best I have ever heard in any audiobook. The thing that lets this book down is character of Eleanor; she's just not likeable. I've listened to this a few times and struggle to find any positive comments from her. If there were just a few more light-hearted moments from her you could like her so much more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Judy Beale
    1/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable adventure with a sensible heroine."

    I have read the book many times & is one of my favourites. I've listened to it twice & now quite enjoy narrators voice particularly his voice of Francis.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Maggie
    12/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent - favourite story, well narrated"
    Any additional comments?

    This book has always been amongst my Heyer favourites, so I saved it to keep me company on a long drive from East Anglian to North East Scotland. It certainly didn't disappoint.

    I don't want to give spoilers to anyone who hasn't read the book, but it's another instance of their being far more to this story that the faintly Cartland-ish publisher's summary. Eleanor, brought up in one social strata but left penniless, stands on her own feet earning her living as a governess - and hates it. By accident she ends up in the wrong place, finds herself jockied into a marriage about 2 hours before her groom's death, making her the unwilling owner of a decaying house and plunged into an intrigue involving French spies. Don't be put off by their summary (or mine) it's a good solid Heyer plot with plenty of comedy as well as action. As always, some great supporting characters - I love Nicky and Bouncer, and have a soft spot for the unshockable Miss Beccles.

    The narration is really good with all the characters distinctive individuals. The only reason I haven't given that 5*s is because I've read the book so often I can see and hear them all in my head and Cornelius Garrett's readings fit all but one - Francis Cheviot. Don't want to say why because that really would be a spoiler. But overall, great fun.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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