Cousin Kate

Cousin Kate

by Georgette Heyer

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Cousin Kate 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
debbook More than 1 year ago
I've been seeing Heyer novels brought up on several blogs as her books are being re-released again. I wasn't sure which one to start with but Aarti of Booklust gave me a few recommendations. I wanted to read Cousin Kate as it is a gothic novel, which I love, though Heyer is more known for Regency romances. Kate Malvern is twenty-four, an orphan, and has just been fired from her position as a governess. She moves in with her former nurse, Sarah and her family. Kate is determinded to find a new position but Sarah thinks that someone in Kate's family should take her in. She writes to Kate's aunt, whom Kate has never met. Minerva Broome shows up to invite Kate back to her estate, Staplewood, which Kate accepts. At first Kate is thrilled, her aunt is generous and kind, her uncle, though ill is warm and welcoming. Torquil is her cousin, aged nineteen and though he has his moods and delicate constitution, Kate is fond of him. But then some strange things happen. Kate hears screaming one night but can't investigate as she is locked in her room. Torquil becomes more difficult to handle and uncle's nephew, Philip insinuates that Kate should leave Staplewood. Kate is unsure what to do or where she would go as she has not heard from Sarah since she moved to Staplewood. my review: I enjoyed this novel quite a bit; Kate is fearless and spunky, Torquil is creepy, and her aunt is mysterious. A perfect setting for a gothic novel. Of course I love this time period and British novels, so that helped. But I did have some trouble with the language. I thought I was almost fluent in British but I encountered many a word or phrase I was unfamiliar with; farrafiddles, skimble-skamble, jarvey,and nab the rust were a few of my favorites. It did not detract from the story however. The beginning felt a little slow but it picked up and then went quite fast at the end. I'm not sure I am a Heyer convert but I think I will read one of the books that was more strongly recommended by Aarti, The Talisman's Ring. Also, I'm not a fan of my library's copies as these are books from decades ago, but it seems that many of the Heyer books are now available as ebooks, so I will try that. my rating 3.5/5 http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/
atimco on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cousin Kate is a novel that gets mixed reviews from Georgette Heyer's loyal fans. The set-up feels quite correct to the period, comfortably Austenish, and then takes a turn that seems utterly out of place in the well-ordered gardens and tea parties of Regency England. Heyer may be true to human nature in the darker plot twists of this story, but human nature can be jarring sometimes when you meet it in lighthearted entertainment. Twenty-four years old and alone in the world, pretty Kate Malvern is cautiously delighted when her long-estranged aunt takes an interest in her. Lady Broome of Staplewood is an imposing woman, but so very kind to her dear niece... maybe too kind. Lady Broome takes immense pride in her husband's isolated country estate at Staplewood, where the Broome line has been preserved unbroken for centuries. Kate soon befriends her cousin Torquil, a pettish but remarkably handsome young man who is tired of living under his mother's thumb. But she has less warmth toward another relation, Philip Broome, who warns her of vague danger and urges her to leave Staplewood. But is he¿next in line to inherit, should Torquil die¿trustworthy?Things wear a bit thin. This was published in 1968 near the end of Heyer's career and though it is fairly well executed, the strange mix of Gothic undertones with a patently Regency period setting is odd. I generally love Gothic-toned tales, but when Regency characters find themselves Gothic situations, they fall rather flat (or behave foolishly; see Northanger Abbey!). Things are neatly tied off at the end with rather more rapidity than seems decent, and some of the relationships aren't developed in a believable way. But having said all this, I certainly enjoyed the read. It's Heyer, after all, and she keeps you reading. And now I want a Sarah Nidd in my life!
bookmagic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've been seeing Heyer novels brought up on several blogs as her books are being re-released again. I wasn't sure which one to start with but Aarti of Booklust gave me a few recommendations. I wanted to read Cousin Kate as it is a gothic novel, which I love, though Heyer is more known for Regency romances.Kate Malvern is twenty-four, an orphan, and has just been fired from her position as a governess. She moves in with her former nurse, Sarah and her family. Kate is determinded to find a new position but Sarah thinks that someone in Kate's family should take her in. She writes to Kate's aunt, whom Kate has never met. Minerva Broome shows up to invite Kate back to her estate, Staplewood, which Kate accepts.At first Kate is thrilled, her aunt is generous and kind, her uncle, though ill is warm and welcoming. Torquil is her cousin, aged nineteen and though he has his moods and delicate constitution, Kate is fond of him.But then some strange things happen. Kate hears screaming one night but can't investigate as she is locked in her room. Torquil becomes more difficult to handle and uncle's nephew, Philip insinuates that Kate should leave Staplewood. Kate is unsure what to do or where she would go as she has not heard from Sarah since she moved to Staplewood.my review: I enjoyed this novel quite a bit; Kate is fearless and spunky, Torquil is creepy, and her aunt is mysterious. A perfect setting for a gothic novel. Of course I love this time period and British novels, so that helped. But I did have some trouble with the language. I thought I was almost fluent in British but I encountered many a word or phrase I was unfamiliar with; farrafiddles, skimble-skamble, jarvey,and nab the rust were a few of my favorites.It did not detract from the story however. The beginning felt a little slow but it picked up and then went quite fast at the end.I'm not sure I am a Heyer convert but I think I will read one of the books that was more strongly recommended by Aarti, The Talisman's Ring. Also, I'm not a fan of my library's copies as these are books from decades ago, but it seems that many of the Heyer books are now available as ebooks, so I will try that.my rating 3.5/5
jmaloney17 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another sweet Regency romance. This one has mayham and malice! Oooohhh.....
gwernin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Atypical for Heyer (gothic rather than romance), and one of my least favorites. That being said, mediocre Heyer is still preferable to most people's best. For the gothic novel fan or the completest.
exlibrisbitsy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kate Malvern is in desperate straights. She has no family left in the world to take her in, she believes, and so stays with her old nursery maid while considering a job in the working class as a governess, companion or abigail. At her old nurse¿s urging a letter is sent to some distant relations in the neighborhood, to everyone¿s surprise the relations respond and soon Cousin Kate finds herself settling in at a place called Staplewood with her aunt and uncle and cousin Torquil. The family is strange though, her cousin lives off in one wing, while her uncle lives in another. No one is responding to the letters she sends, and bizarre events begin to unfold. Her aunt¿s unexpected generosity may have come at a steep price.This novel is quite different from a lot of Georgette Heyer's other pieces. It's very dark first off, more of a gothic novel than any thing else with many spooky events and unsettling discoveries not to mention the impending sense of doom.One of the things I like so much about Heyer's novels is her deep character studies and Cousin Kate is no different. In fact in this novel she takes it a step further and addresses the very real concerns about how mental illness was treated and the attitude towards it during the regency. Very spooky, no wonder the gothic genre even arose in the first place. No doubt it was from households like these.Of course, you can't have a Georgette Heyer without the romance. Cousin Phillip is yet another cousin of the establishment that comes to visit at this awkward time and good thing too! He at first believes her to be after the family money but soon realizes something far more sinister is afoot, and Kate is the target of it. Really, I found the misunderstandings these two continually went through to be surprisingly endearing. Normally I can't stand for characters to make a muddle of things. But, with everything else going on around them I could hardly blame them.Favorite Quote:"Has it occurred to you, Kate, that she is placing you under an obligation?""Oh, yes, indeed it has, and it is crushing me!" she said earnestly. "If only there were some way of requiting her - not arranging flowers, or entertaining Sir Timothy, or bearing Torquil company, but a big thing! Something that was vital to her, or - or even something that entailed a sacrifice! But there isn't anything that I can discover."There was a pause, during which he frowned down at his well-kept finger-nails. At length he said slowly: "If she were to demand it of you, would you be prepared to make a sacrifice of yourself?"
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Well. This surprised me. I was expecting a Regency romance, which is what Heyer is famous for, and instead, I got a gothic. I lurrrrve gothics.The "Cousin Kate" of the title is an orphaned, penniless young woman who's been invited to live with her aunt after losing her position as a governess. Her old nurse, to whom she'd turned, contacted the aunt Kate had never met, and at first, all seemed fine.The aunt was kind and solicitous, and her cousin Torquil a handsome but moody young man, but the expected introductions to London society never materialized with their hope of contracting a marriage for Kate, and instead they lived quietly in the country, with the poor health of her aunt's husband, Sir Timothy, as an excuse.With the arrival of Sir Timothy's nephew Phillip, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems, and Kate is thrust into the middle of a mystery, not knowing whom to trust.I've been wavering between 4 and 5 stars for this book. On the one hand, I have no complaints about it whatsoever. I love the gothic style, and this was a pretty much flawless example of a gothic romance. On the other hand, it's a flawless example of a gothic romance--that is, there was nothing to distinguish it from other gothic romances, nothing that made me say "oh, my god, this is such a good book." Realizing that my ratings have been becoming inflated of late, I'm sticking with the 4 stars. Which I've always intended to mean "a book I really enjoy, but that doesn't make me want to do a little dance."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent story, well told, with wonderful characters and witty, sparkling dialogue
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I really love this author. gives you a vision of what the era was like. this especially had laughing times and what is going to happen next?
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