A Woman Called Fancy Should Be Called Foolish

On page two of A Woman Called Fancy, Frank Yerby tells us that Fancy is the first Williamson  in seven  generations to learn to read and write — and that she is entirely self taught.  If you can swallow that, you’ll think this novel is peachy keen.

Fancy is a raven-haired knockout with a bodice begging to be ripped. She flees her Carolina hills home in 1880 at the age of 19 rather than marry a 65-year-old farmer.

In Atlanta, Fancy is pursued by dastardly Duke Ellis, politician Jed Hawkins, and snake-oil salesman Wyche Weathers. Weathers gives her a job dancing in his sideshow.

Appearances to the contrary, Fancy is a woman of virtue, intellect, and moral purity, according to Yerby. She’s not over-strict about killing, but she draws the line at marrying without love.

Fancy loves temperamental, self-centered, arrogant Courtland Brantley, who also happens to be in love with his brother’s wife.  She sobers him up long enough to marry her.

When Court realizes there’s not a stitch ripped in Fancy’s bodice that he didn’t rip himself, he’s in jail for murder. Of course, Fancy fixes even that.

Poor Yerby has given readers Fancy, when they required Plausible.

A Woman Called Fancy
By Frank Yerby
Dial Press, 1951
340 pages
My grade C+

© 2011 Linda Gorton Aragoni

2016-01-09 Corrected first name of Fancy’s husband.

Published by

Linda G. Aragoni

I make big ideas simple for learners. In eight sentences, 34 words, I taught teens and adults to write competently. Now I'm writing guides to turn willing volunteers into great nursing home visitors.

2 thoughts on “A Woman Called Fancy Should Be Called Foolish”

  1. Jeez…. lighten up OK? Frank Yerby was writing a work of fiction here, not redefining a genre. He also happened to be a fantastic writer! Plus Brantley’s first name is Courtland, not Courtney. One who writes reviews should at least get names of characters right, don’t you agree?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.