Wednesday, June 1, 2011

ARC Review: The American Heiress: A Novel by Daisy Goodwin

I won an ARC of this book from Goodreads. 

The American Heiress tells the story of Cora Cash, a wealthy young American beauty from the turn of the Twentieth Century.  The only child of a “new money” family,  Cora is her mother’s entrée into society.  Mrs. Cash is determined to make the ultimate marriage match for her daughter – one with a title.  On a trip to England, Cora finds herself in a whirlwind courtship with an impoverished duke with secrets.  After an over the top wedding, Cora finds herself trying to navigate the pitfalls of being American among British nobility.  For once, her wealth can’t solve everything.

To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this book. I thought it was well written.  Godwin included just the right amount of detail to give the reader a sense of the time period.  I found Cora to be a very likable character. I was very interested in her story and wanted to know how it would end.  However, I had a real hard time reading this book. I kept finding it way too easy put it aside.  In the end, I had to force myself to sit down and not move until I finished the book.  In fairness, that could be due to the fact that I would classify this book as a romance, not a genre I read very often.

What I liked about the book: Cora. She’s a very strong woman, but not so strong as to be unbelievable.  She is the reason I kept reading.  The setting – I’m an Anglophile and I enjoy stories with a British or Irish twist.  The ending – I won’t post any spoilers, but I have to admit I was a little concerned about how she was going to wrap it all up – would it be believable.  It wasn’t a Pollyanna ending, but it fit the story rather well

What I didn’t like about the book: There were several characters I didn’t like, but I don’t think the reader is meant to like them very much.  There is more than one villain in this story. The main thing I did not like about this book was the pacing. It was a good story, but it just didn’t grab me. It often felt like a chore to read this book and that is why I only gave it three stars.

If you enjoy romances, stories about turn of the century England and are not looking for a fast paced, grab you by the collar read – then this could be the book for you.

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