I’d like to say that I finished The Liars’ Club and threw The Foundling across the room because it was insipid. However, that would be a lie. I finished The Foundling because Georgette Heyer is my security blanket and I removed the bookmark from The Liars’ Club because I found it unbearable. Mary Karr is a wonderful writer and the book is much, much better than anything Heyer ever dreamed of. But sometimes you don’t want to be challenged. Sometimes you don’t even want to be amused in the dark way that Karr has — though I have to admit, I took the book too seriously to find much of it funny. Where I left off, little Mary and her sister Lecia and her dying grandmother with the amputated leg and her crazy mother are driving hell-for-leather through Hurricane Carla, having been forced to evacuate at the very last minute. (The National Guardsman had to break down the bathroom door to fetch Grandma, who was tatting in her wheelchair. Tatting, folks, is like crochet only harder. I don’t know, is that funny?)
So why wouldn’t I prefer the escapades of the gentle, ingenuous, and very rich Duke of Sale, in Regency England? The worst thing that happens to him is that he gets tied up in a cellar and has to burn down the house to get out. Furthermore, you don’t really have to believe any of it. Just let it remove you, temporarily, from whatever storm clouds you’d prefer not to acknowledge.