A Civil Contract Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Civil Contract

Viscount's father dies leaving nothing but debts. To save his family home he agrees to marry an heiress from the merchant class and gives up any hope of marrying the beautiful & aristocratic love of his life. The book is about the life and marriage Adam and Jenny build together from this foundation and with these odds. Jenny's motivation is the deep, passionate love she has felt for Adam ever since he was a convalescent officer who spent his leave falling in love with the beautiful aristocrat (what'shername). When she discovers he has agreed to an arranged marriage with her to save his family from 'ruin' she agrees to the marriage and spends the book learning how to make him happy and alleviate his pain at giving up his lost love. She is never whiny or self sacrificing; she doesn't pose but is eminently practical and unimaginative. In the course of the book Adam learns to love his rich wife and even feels affection for his overbearing, vulgar and very kind hearted father in law. His love for Jenny is not the wild romantic love he felt for what'shername but it is solid, warm and true. At the end of the book he takes Jenny in his arms and tells her he loves her after realizing that if he could change the past he would not..not if it meant removing Jenny from his life. The book is about basically decent people and what they do and how they treat each other under trying circumstances and in a situation where neither of them gets exactly what they want. It is a wonderful book full of true life lessons. One of my favorites.
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The review of this Book prepared by a Level 1 Blue Jay scholar

Adam Deveril, Viscount Lynton returns from the war upon the death of his father and finds his family on the brink of financial ruin. He must either sell his family's estate or marry money. Even though he is in love with someone else he marries Jenny, a rich plump daughter who has received the best of everything all her life. Her father is a kindhearted uneducated man who flaunts his wealth and keeps giving them large expensive gifts which infuriates Adam, who feels bought and paid for. Jenny loves him and tries to make him comfortable in her practical way. Over time Adam discovers that his marriage to Jenny, though not a great romantic love match, is real life and imminently suitable to him.         
The review of this Book prepared by Deborah Stoops

An impoverished Viscount contracts an alliance with the wealthy daughter of a merchant in order to save his family home. Her secret: she has loved him for years. His secret: he still thinks he is in love with a friend of hers. Heyer's secret: the ability to write three-dimensional characters for whom the writer can feel affection (the protagonists) and exasperation (his Mother and her Father), while providing a very detailed account of the Regency era, including England's fight against Napoleon.
The review of this Book prepared by Shell

Chapter Analysis of A Civil Contract

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   Regency era Love Triangles/Polygons    -   Yes What kind:    -   one man-two women Marriage/Married    -   Yes Marriage subplot:    -   marriage of convenience spurring real love Hidden Identity/Secret Motive    -   Yes Is really...    -   after his/her money

Main Male Character

Profession/status:    -   Prince/Nobleman/King Age/status:    -   20's-30's

Main Female Character

   -   20's-30's Profession/status:    -   homemaker Unusual characteristics:    -   Very shy


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Farm/Ranch?    -   Yes Farm/Ranch:    -   farm Misc setting    -   Fancy Mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death What % of story is romance related?    -   80% How much dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Georgette Heyer Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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