Georgette Heyer’s opinion on a young author’s first book
I think she has got something. She can tell a story, she has a gift of phrase, and the fact that she can’t spell or punctuate doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that here is a huge, inchoate mass of a book, without rhyme or reason, over-weighted, and degenerating, in its last third, into melodrama.
’Don’t be too ambitious!’ is impossible advice to give to a young author, but it is the right advice here. The girl has the makings of a romantic novelist, not of a great, gloomy, introspective saga-writer.
I should advise her to put this book in a drawer; to think out a good, close-knit plot with plenty of wild deeds, and dark passions, and a nice, fat climax; to limit herself to 100,000 words; not to stray into the bogs of psychology - and to get on with it!
She would write a seller if she would limit her horizons, and see the book as a whole before she sets pen to paper.