Author: Daisy Goodwin
Format: Audio book
Published: Macmillan Audio; June 2011
Narrated By: Katherine Kellgren
Genre: Historical fiction
Synopsis: 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 Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals.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.
My Take: When the publisher contacted me about having my bookclub listen to The American Heiress for our most recent bookclub I was excited. Not only would this give us a chance to discuss a book I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about, it would give us a chance to discuss a format we hadn’t read together as a group before either: audio. And guess what? As a group, it was a great experience. For the summer, people had roadtrips in which they could listen to this on, they could relax by the beach and pop in their ear buds and dream about days gone by. We came to our meeting excited to discuss a genre that we don’t normally read in a format that we have never read. If you can, it’s a great way to mix things up!
Ok so the actual book! I think we can all agree that I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump this summer. Looking for a book to spice up my reading has been hard for me. Well I found a book that met it with this! It has lots of historically lush scenes described, the drama between American new money and English old money, and a young marriage trying to find it’s way, all with a fabulous narrator who knew her way around a myriad of voices like nothing I’ve listened to before.
Cora Cash is our leading lady. She is spunky but bred to be a high society lady. Based on Conseulo Vanderbilt and her marriage to the 10th Duke of Marlborough, her overbearing mother was hell bent on being the mother of a Duchess so off they went to England (they were rich Americans). Once in England, Cora was pranced all over until she came in contact with Ivo, the Duke of Wareham. Cora had no desire to marry for her mother’s needs, all she wanted was to marry for love. It just so happened that she fell in love with a Duke. Everything should have been happy and easy, right? Wrong!
So begins the drama of Cora feeling out of place, myriad scandals both sexual and non! If you are missing Downton Abbey and are just looking for some pure fun, than I don’t think you need to look any further for a great beach read!
Cover Lust: I love this cover! You can't see her face, yet she looks innocent. Perhaps she doesn't know what awaits her!