Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

May 3, 2016 Whitney Review 5 Comments

Cousin Kate by Georgette HeyerCousin Kate
Author Georgette Heyer
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date May 1, 2009
Source: Library

Enjoy one of only two Heyer Gothic Regency romances.

Kate, in dire circumstances, is surprised to receive an invitation to live with a distant aunt. Her aunt, uncle, and cousin welcome her to their estate, buy her new clothes, and provide all the amenities a Young lady of quality should have. Slowly, however, as strange events unfold, Kate begins to realize that her aunt's apparent benevolence hides an ulterior motive. To assure succession of the title, her aunt intends Kate to marry her cousin Torquil, until his increasingly bizarre behavior culminates in violence and tragedy. A compelling tale exploring mental illness in the Regency period.

If Wuthering Heights and Rebecca were to have a baby, Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer would be the product of their labors.  It held mysterious characters with unclear motives like Mrs. Danvers and the strange, conniving plot of Wuthering Heights.

Cousin Kate was our Rebecca,innocent and financially at the end of her rope although rather more like Belle in Beauty and the Beast when it came to wit and brains.

Torquill was Linton Heathcliff, a sickly boy but was more than meets the eye and constantly trying to rebel. He was a loose cannon and didn’t know when it would explode.

Aunt Minerva could be seen as no one else but Mrs. Danvers, she was just plain eerie. I had an idea where her interests lay with bringing Kate to Staplewood Estate; but until the end I was left guessing as to whether Kate was simply there as a daughter replacement to play dress up, or if there were ulterior and much more sinister motives at hand.

Sir Timothy was an oddball and based on his illness described sounded like he was epileptic, having the disorder myself I was curious as to how this would play out but sadly, felt the ball was dropped and an opportunity missed to create an even eerier household.

Mr Phillip Broome, Sir Timothy’s nephew was a combination of Heathcliff and Edgar Linton, he appeared evil and manipulative at the beginning but as the novel progressed turned into Linton with preconceived notions into the wind to blossom anew.

The ending turns regency romance novels on its head and was a highly addictive read. I feel certain that Cousin Kate will not be my last Georgette Heyer novel.

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5 responses to “Cousin Kate by Georgette Heyer

  1. This sounds interesting! Thanks for sharing with us! I’ve kind of been in the mood for classical books so this sounds perfect! PLUS, I’ve been wanting to read Wuthering Heights for quiet some time now! <3

  2. Hibernators Library

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m pretty new to Georgette Heyer, so I haven’t heard of this one. It looks like fun. I’m certainly going to pick up another soon. Thanks for hosting the blog hop!

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