Friday, July 8, 2011

Review-The American Heiress, by Daisy Goodwin

Daisy Goodwin
St. Martin's Press, June 2011
480 Pages

Review by Wisteria

When I read the title, The American Heiress, you may think as I did, “Who cares?” Prepare to read a highly entertaining story and I guarantee, you will care as much as I did for Cora Cash, The American Heiress. Daisy Goodwin will take you back to a glimpse of The Guilded Age as the story of Cora Cash unfolds. It is a world of glitz, respectability and if nothing else the illusion and appearance of public propriety.

To visit the behemoth mansions of Newport, RI, a visitor sees these stately, grand, pretentious homes as cold ghosts of a past era. Walking along the cliff-walk overlooking the oscillating seas and the wildness of the ocean, most would find it is hard to fathom how a little over one hundred years ago, this was the epicenter of high society and culture. Back then, the grounds and homes were untouchable to all but the very elite. This is the setting of The American Heiress, a story about Cora Cash, the daughter of an opulent tycoon has both beauty and intelligence coupled with a domineering and social piranha.

Mrs. Cash has dreams for her daughter and visions that a suitable match will also secure her own position at the pinnacle of the social strata. After her coming out, an event that has tragic consequences, Cora travels to England with an eye on capturing an English nobleman for her husband. With a vast fortune in tow she sails to Europe on her father’s yacht. On board she is accompanied by her maid servant Bertha, and her own horses. Once in England, while out riding one day with a party of friends, she is thrown from her horse.

Somewhat like a fairy tale, Cora meets her Duke and they are married, but what follows is a bumpy ride that is unpredictable. It will remain to be seen whether it will end happily ever after. The Duke is in need of money, and fortunately for him, the girl he marries is an heiress, impressively rich. The novel is very well written and highly engaging. Cora is a captivating and courageous heroine, extremely naive, but an embraceable character. She is approachable and easy going, easily loved and wanting to always do the right thing. In trying to please, she alienates her husband, or so it seems.

This is not a story of wealth and status in The Guilded Age, but a story of betrayal, deception, devotion and love that crosses over all socio-economic barriers. It’s just not all about money, the lessons gleaned and the lives within The American Heiress will touch every reader. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book at no charge by Library Thing's Early Reviewer Program. 

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2011].

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Blogger (Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I've been listening to the audio version and enjoying it. Cora Cash is a whoot!

7/8/11, 10:17 PM  
Blogger Marie Cloutier said...

this sounds like a great read for Gilded Age fans- like me!thanks for telling us about it.

7/9/11, 11:25 PM  
Blogger wisteria said...

Diane...Yes, she is that. Glad the audio is good too.

Marie..Yes, It took me back with a clear vision of setting. :)

7/10/11, 7:07 AM  
Blogger Na said...

The cover for THE AMERICAN HEIRESS is stunning. When I think of the title and look at the picture, what comes to mind is glamour and prestige. Cora, who is born into a world will wealth intrigues me and I wonder how she will handle the inevitable lies and betrayal.

7/11/11, 7:36 PM  

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