Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

Star Rating : 2 out of 5

Content Rating : MILD
Back Cover :
Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts', suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.
Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora's story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.”

My Thoughts :

I finished this book, though I’m not quite sure why. I kept hoping for at least a satisfying resolution; but at last, this was not to be. The story is very predictable and the characters are annoying. I thought it was way too fluffy for historical fiction and just silly as a romance. The main characters get engaged in a day. A story like this relies on good characters as the plot is usually fairly simple; but, the characters leave much to be desired. I would recommend skipping this book.  

This book is rated as MILD. There is one use of minor language. There are also several sexual references. The most shocking scene is when the main character asks her maid to show her to kiss.

What I liked : 

  • The Idea – I’ve read several books set in this time period and I like the idea of the book. However, I felt like there was failure in the execution.
  • The Time Period – Goodwin does a fairly good job recreating the social behaviors, clothes, and such of the time period.
  • The audio book – Overall the reader did a good job. But, the southern accent was just sad. Being from the south it really bugged me. Other than that, she did a good job switching between American and British accents. 

What I didn’t like : 

  • The Characters – There wasn’t one character I really liked. When Cora is introduced, she is snotty and spoiled. Her character changes a little but not enough to make you like her. Also, we are reminded every other page that Cora is rich. The male lead is never really explained and is basically useless as a main character. Bertha, African-American southern lady’s maid character is ok; but isn’t very good either. There is no real depth to any character. You end the book not really knowing any of them or liking any of them. However, I can tell you all about each outfit Cora wore.
  • Historical Errors – There were several details that were just a few years to early or too late. Not a huge deal as this is fiction and every author is free to take some liberties; but, some of them could have easily been fixed.  

What Others Are Saying :

"Anyone suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal symptoms (who isn't?) will find an instant tonic in Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress. The story of Cora Cash, an American heiress in the 1890s who bags an English duke, this is a deliciously evocative first novel that lingers in the mind."Allison Pearson, New York Times bestselling author of I Don't Know How She Does It and I Think I Love You

"A propulsive story of love, manners, culture clash, and store-bought class from a time long past that proves altogether fresh.” Publishers Weekly

Reviewed by Shayna Hinshaw

Pick up your copy at Amazon.

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