Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review: The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

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 Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals.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

My Review:

The American Heiress is a cross between Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and some of Edith Wharton and Jane Austen's works. Cora Cash (not sure if I like or dislike her name... it seems too easy but also perfectly fitting) is the heiress to a large fortune made in the flour industry in America. Her mother knows that Cora is pretty and rich, meaning all that she needs to have the perfect life is a title.

Cora's mother envisions her daughter in the English aristocracy, regardless of Cora's desires. Therefore, they set off to England. Along the way Cora meets a secretive and, dare I say it, sexy English Duke, which sets off their romance.

I include Gone with the Wind as an inspiration to this novel because I found a lot of similarities between Cora Cash and Scarlett O'Hara, they are both from well to-do families but still need to confront the realities of life as they grow up. They are both spoiled but also determined so that no matter what life hands them, they persevere. I found both characters annoying, especially in the beginning, and I enjoyed their maturation over time.

Cora's English Duke, Ivo, is an interesting characters. He tends to drop out and fall back into the story so that the reader, like Cora, has trouble figuring him out. We don't know what he may be hiding or what he is feeling. This was very frustrating for me to read.

There were some slow points in the novel and some extra, very small, subplots that weren't at all necessary to the story. However, I did like the overall flow of the novel and the growth, or lack thereof, of the characters.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I recieved a free copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads. This did not influence my review of The American Heiress.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking of reading this soon, it looked good. Great review, I love Edith Wharton books. This one sounds like it would be similar to The Buccaneers, which I enjoyed.