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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    502
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    229
  • 3 Stars
    96
  • 2 Stars
    23
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    9

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    455
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    142
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    54
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    3
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    9

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    388
  • 4 Stars
    170
  • 3 Stars
    76
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    8
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  • Overall

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.

107 of 107 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marcheta
  • Suffolk, VA, United States
  • 04-07-09

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.

34 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Elisabeth
  • Mount Hermon, CA, United States
  • 05-25-09

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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Marian
  • Bozrman, MT, United States
  • 07-27-09

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.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cate F.
  • Richmond, VA USA
  • 07-05-09

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!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • PORTLAND, OR, USA
  • 01-16-10

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.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • JULIA
  • Tracyton, WA, United States
  • 03-04-15

A star performance.

I have for at least 40 years been Miss Heyer's fan. Her skill in storytelling gives me a fascinating glimpse into lives of members of the ton, and there's delightful comedy (I laugh out loud) ... and NO sex (wonderful!). I have worn out at least two paperback copies of each title, and have additional copies of each. I've read reviews stating "too much description," but that is exactly what brings the stories to life, so that I feel I KNOW the characters. ... Mr Garrett did an excellent job, and made me forget he was reading both male and female parts. ... So glad there are audible versions of all her books! And wish there were a hundred more titles. :D

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
  • JED
  • 02-01-16

Unexpectedly excellent

I purchased this book before I had listened to "These Old Shades", also narrated by Cornelius Garrett. I thought he ruined that book and started this with low expectations! I was wrong! He makes an excellent job of this narration, giving different voices and accents as well as bringing the humour and wit out with full force. The main characters all come across as they do in the written word and the dog, " Bouncer" steals the show with his antics.. While a very unlikely plot,its good story to build a Heyer Romance around. A very good listen if you previously have read the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Angela Whitear
  • 06-18-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • J King
  • 05-13-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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  • Kate
  • 04-02-15

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • bookywooky
  • 03-24-13

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

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  • Maggie
  • 12-10-14

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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alison
  • 06-24-12

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

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  • Anne A
  • 02-17-17

Almost Perfect

What did you like most about The Reluctant Widow?

It's very funny

What other book might you compare The Reluctant Widow to, and why?

Well you know almost any other Regency book by Georgette Heyer. She did write to a formula.

What about Cornelius Garrett’s performance did you like?

Everything except the way he channeled Edward Fox being Edward VIII for Carlyon's voice. If it hadn't been for that I'd have given 5 stars. He was very very good at the humour, and his Francis Cheviot was a riot but I thought he did fail to highlight Carlyon's growing interest in Eleanor which is quite subtly written.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me laugh

Any additional comments?

Wittier than I remembered and a joy to re-encounter.

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  • John
  • 01-08-17

A well read tail of intrigue.

The twists and turns of the plot leads to some chuckling moments. The voices used by the narrator add a humour to a thrilling story.




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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-21-16

Heyer beautifully realised!

This is one of my favourite Heyer books, it's light and funny and this presentation of it fitted beautifully. The narrator gave all the characters a recognisable and believable life. I would recommend this to all Georgette' many admirers!

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  • Farwan House Variety Store
  • 04-29-17

As always - superb

One of the more enjoyable Regency mysteries and romance novels of Georgette Heyer. Not a single book of hers disappoints. Narration by Cornelius Garrett totally enjoyable.