A Little Folly

Written by Jude Morgan
Review by Sara Wilson

Louisa and Valentine Carnell have lived a constrained life under the domination of a strict and old-fashioned father. On his death they decide to throw caution to the wind and embark on a lively round of merriment as they head to London. Louisa is finally able to decline her father’s favoured suitor, Pearce Lynley, and search for one of her own, perhaps even Pearce’s brother, Francis. Valentine is less circumspect and indulges a little too heavily in gambling, then falls in love with Lady Harriet Eversholt – a married woman.

Throughout their London sojourn the siblings are supported by their great friend, James Tresilian, who is always there to offer advice and comfort. The series of little follies that the Carnells commit help both the siblings realise what is really important to them. And, perhaps more significantly, who is really important to them.

A Little Folly is a delightful concoction, one that manages to emulate all the sharp observation and wit of Austen, with all the dash and romance of Heyer. And it has a plot to rival both those Greats. It is effortlessly entertaining, but has greater depth and soul than a Regency romance might reasonably be expected to have, which makes for a refreshing change. The sense of historical accuracy is impeccable and the characters perfectly drawn. This novel cannot be recommended highly enough.