It’s rare that I come across a book that really holds my attention cover to cover. I have been recommended so many by friends over the years and I hate to tell them when I don’t like the characters or don’t find the story as riveting as they did. Sometimes I start to plan my dinner in the middle of a chapter. I’m also guilty of daydreaming my way to the bottom of a page and then I have to read the same section over again (sometimes multiple times. Anyone else?).
That was not the case with The American Heiress.
This breakthrough novel by Daisy Goodwin focuses on Cora Cash, the daughter of aristocratic parents in twentieth century Newport, Rhode Island. Her merciless mother will do all it takes for her daughter to climb the social ladder but realizes quickly that a life in the States is limited and she wants the one thing that would set her daughter apart from the rest: a title. And so it is that she ships her proper, beautiful, and trained daughter to England in hopes that she will find the right suitor.
It is there that she meets Ivo, England’s most eligible bachelor, and becomes Duchess of Wareham. But as we all know: all that glitters is not gold. Cora finds her husband to be secretive and she begins to miss the life she left behind. In addition, she finds it is much harder to assimilate in English society than she had originally anticipated.
“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
I started writing this review over the summer when my copy was covered in sun block and sand but this will make a perfect book to curl under the covers with this winter. I don’t known why it’s taken me so long to finish this review (certainly not a reflection of the book itself), but since I visited Newport with a friend this past weekend, I thought the timing was perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found myself discussing it with quite a few people over the weekend (it was on sale in all the mansion shops). It’s most definitely a page-turner, filled with romance, scandal, and betrayal. I really enjoyed the author’s story-telling and found myself rooting for Cora throughout. I wanted her to lash out against her tyrant of a mother, to ditch her hubby, and to stick it to high society a bit.
Here are some pics from the weekend. Highlights included a stay at a haunted jailhouse (now a hotel), a haunted walking tour, and a tour of the Breakers.