Monday, June 13, 2011

The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

Book Description:
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 Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals.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.

Though I found this book slow going for the first 50 or so pages, I eventually found myself pulled into the story. The improbably named American heiress Cora Cash is wealthy enough to be the prime catch of the season, and her mother is determined to use that status to marry into a titled English family. Cora is determined to get married to escape from her overbearing mother, especially after her first love turns down her proposal to dedicate himself to art.

Though there was nothing unexpected about the plot, I did find the characters engaging, and welcomed the few glances into the life and views of the servants involved in all these family machinations. Cora's naivete can be annoying at times, and she certainly isn't the brightest heroine, but she is nevertheless a well-meaning girl who does attract the reader's sympathy as the story develops.

A good summer read once you sink into the story.

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