This past weekend I visited my friend Sara. We figure we met online around age 12; we certainly met in person for the first time at age 16. Not only did she know me at my craziest, she introduces me to people by telling them about it.
“This is Amy. I didn’t like her when we met because she was super hyper.”
“This is my friend Amy. In high school I pulled her off picnic tables because when debate got really heated she would turn bright red and stand on them to make her point.”
“This is Amy! She went on her first plane ride with me and I kept having to forcibly drag her through the airport because she kept pausing to complain about the historical inaccuracy of the murals on the airport walls.”
And the worst part? I don’t have any horrible stories to tell back! Either I don’t remember them or she was just really mature at 16. Or, as probably more likely, I was the crazy one and anything she did paled compared to me standing on picnic tables.
Or irritating the tour guide at the White House with my steady stream of commentary.
Or staying up till 4 am watching the Disney Channel because by golly I was not going to let the cable TV in our hotel room go to waste.
In conclusion, it is good to have old friends. It keeps you humble.
Today my youngest brother turns 15!! It has been such a fun year with him. I’ve really enjoyed teaching his writing class and working with him every time he comes out to volunteer. Elijah’s passion for maps, fossil fuels, and Civ 5 make him an interesting, awesome young man. As far as teenagers go, Elijah is one of the best.
Happy Birthday, Bro!
Georgette Heyer is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read and re-read her books countless times. I buy her books whenever I see them, no matter the price. I tell all my friends they need to read her. Next to C.S. Lewis, she might be my favorite author, and according to Goodreads, I’ve read more by her than any other author (second place isn’t even close!) So please understand when I say The Black Moth was awful, I don’t say it lightly!
In her defense, this was Heyer’s first book, published when she was 19. It was written for an ailing brother a few years earlier. It makes sense that the plot line is dramatic and far-fetched. She was a teenager and this was the beginning of the 1920s…so for that, remarkably well done, I suppose. However, it is more along the lines of Ann Radcliffe than Jane Austen.
The main couple is an insufferable pair who experience insta-love and nobly suffer until other characters sort things out for them. Side characters get much more page-time and 90% more dialogue; unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily make them more interesting. The villain is clearly the main focus and interest of the teenage authoress, but he is so cliche and evil that I couldn’t find a spark of interest for him. He isn’t even a misunderstood bad guy, he is simply evil, desperate for a ‘good woman’ to redeem him. Soppy stuff!
However, this book wasn’t a total loss. It offered an intriguing example of Heyer’s early work, and many of her later, great plots are evident in it. She utilizes similar scenarios and characters later on, most obviously in These Old Shades (1926) and Devil’s Cub (1932), or The Convenient Marriage (1934). In each of these books she improves on the idea and focuses her characters more.
Worth it only if you are already a fan of Heyer and willing to pick through the bad to see the foundation of what would become a wonderful writing career.