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Romantic comedies and more
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Mmm. I just finished re-reading Georgette Heyer's Cotillion for the first time in years, and it has the best and funniest happy ending of any romantic comedy I know. When I read it as a teenager, it was one of my least favorite of her novels because the romance was non-traditional (the alpha-male rake turns out to be a real jerk; the sweet, daffy beta-male dandy turns out to be most truly lovable) and because the book felt more like a comedy of manners than a "real" romance. Reading it now, those are both reasons why it's one of my favorites of her novels, or of any romantic comedies I've read. And, reading as an adult this time, that subtle, behind-the-scenes romantic arc, which has to be intuited behind all the zany comedy and family complications, is just intensely satisfying. Cotillion starts slowly, like a lot of Georgette Heyer's novels, but once you're well into it, it's just wonderful - I had a smile on my face as I read, I giggled out loud in several places, and the ending was just perfect. Yum. :)

(The sad thing is, at least in the 1990s edition of the book that I own, the marketing department had no faith in the book's wonderful, nontraditional romance to sell it, so they made up a whole bunch of jacket copy that's completely unrelated to the plot - a particularly dumb ploy since it wouldn't appeal to the people who would love it, but it would disappoint people who bought the book expecting a traditional, alpha-male romance. Luckily, the description in the Amazon review linked above is pretty much perfectly on-target, so the new publishers may have finally figured it out.)

I've been doing lots of good reading, actually, since my brother Ben pointed me toward DailyLit, a free service you can subscribe to to have classic (ie, out-of-copyright) novels emailed to you for free on a daily or weekly basis, like newspaper serials. It's a surprisingly fun way to read them, in short, tasty chunks. I've subscribed to several books that I've read in the past but don't own (like P G Wodehouse's My Man Jeeves and Dumas's The Three Musketeers) and a couple that I've never read before, but always meant to (like Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden, and Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles). I made myself stop once I'd subscribed to the maximum number I could imagine reading all at once, but there are lots more fun-looking options I'm looking forward to reading in the future, like Sabatini's Scaramouche. (I LOVE the movie version with Eleanor Parker, but I've never read the book.)

And - hurray, hurray! - I finally finished typing in this round of preliminary edits to Kat and sent it off this morning to various critiquers. Whew!

Now, of course, I'm back to wondering what to write for the next month or so...hmm...

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