"Black Sheep" by Georgette Heyer {Books}

This novel is very much similar to "A Lady of Quality" I had written about a while back. When you read many novels by the same author, you come across quite a few plots which are in core similar to each other. This was brought to light by Agatha Christie herself who made herself one of the characters in some of her novels and was very critical about the profession of novel writing and the ingeniousness which goes into them. The name of the character is Ariadne Oliver and she is a friend of Hercule Poirot and she met him for the first time in "Cards on the Table" and even the name of the books referred to in the stories have been adopted later as novels by Christie herself. Coming back to the review of this book, lets proceed with the plot.

Miss Abigail Wendover is 29 and unmarried and lives in Bath with her sister, Serena, and her niece, Fanny, who is about t make her come out the next year and is already a hit in the Bath society. Fanny, an heiress, is being endlessly pursued by Stacy Calverleigh who is known as a very wicked character and a fortune hunter. Fanny doesn't know this side of Stacy's character and is rebellious to any wisdom imparted to her. Moreover, to encourage her, her aunt, Serena, likes Stacy and frequently invites him to her house. Thus, it falls on Abigail to break this unwanted relationship and keep Fanny safe. When on her visit to friends at one of the hotels at Bath, she hears about a Calverleigh living in the same hotel. Not having met Stacy previously, she assumes this Calverleigh to be the same Stacy and goes to encounter him. But, she is taken aback by a much elder persona standing in front of her who is not very handsome and is very unsuitably dressed. 

On being inquired, the person admits himself to be Miles Calverleigh who was deported to India twenty years back. Abigail tries to enlist the aid of the uncle to make Fanny safe but this uncle denies meddling in the business. It is later known that Miles has brought Oliver who is the son of a very dear friend of Abigail. Thus, Abigail's next encounter with Miles is at Oliver's house where she visits with Fanny. The story thus pursues the attempts of how Abigail tries to get rid of Stacy but the good fortune strikes when Fanny falls victim to influenza when Stacy starts pursuing some other heiress because of his pressing needs for money. And, Abigail is faced with the indecision of whether or not to accept the offer of Miles Calverleigh. She doesn't realize that she has fallen in love with him but she does miss him and when he comes to meet her after a long absence from Bath, she ends up kissing him in sudden impulse of the moment but she rejects his offer of marriage. So, Miles goes back meekly to London once more. 

So, is there a happily ever after??? Well, you should really read the ending. The last few pages of the plot are indescribable and no one can ever guess them. This is one of the gems from Heyer and a must read if you are her fan.

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