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The American Heiress: A Novel by Daisy…
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The American Heiress: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Daisy Goodwin

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8028611,392 (3.42)53
Member:ablachly
Title:The American Heiress: A Novel
Authors:Daisy Goodwin
Info:St. Martin's Griffin (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library, At Brightwater
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Work details

My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin

  1. 10
    Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (orlnich)
  2. 00
    To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl (michigantrumpet)
  3. 00
    Grace and favour;: The memoirs of Loelia, duchess of Westminster by Loelia Lindsay (Sarahursula)
    Sarahursula: Shy girl marries Britain's richest duke and lives in a Gothic mansion - part Cinderella, part Rebecca and one of the best tiaras on any book cover. And it's all true.
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Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
I was totally enthralled with Downton Abbey - watching as many episodes on Netflix that I could. So, this was a great follow up book!

The story takes place at a time when America was filled with new millionaires due to all the industries here while England was filled with dilapidated estates in need of cash. The idea of an American heiress traveling to England with deep pockets in need of a husband is a great place to start the story.

Cora Cash is a filthy rich spoiled daughter of a flour baron and an incredibly driven mother. Mrs. Cash's sole purpose seems to be proving her importance through what she can buy and that includes her gilded daughter. Then a fateful coming out party and a flaming headress sends the mother and daughter to England to branch out and find a husband.

And that is where the book gets better. I liked Cora so much more when she was growing up - when she was becoming her own person, not her mother's shadow. But, it is a book - so true love doesn't come easily! There is an evil mother-in-law, a lost love that doesn't want to stay lost, and all the mysteries of English country living.
Cora is the most real personality in this glittering facade.

I was a little disappointed in how quickly the book came to an end. There was a lot of build-up and then - boom - it was over. That left me wanting more! But, I would recommend this! It's a great tale and a fun summer read! ( )
  kebets | Nov 1, 2014 |
If you are a fan of Jane Austen and/or Edith Wharton, do not believe the reviewers who claim that this book is similar to the remarkable literature produced by these fabulous writers. Daisy Goodwin's work falls flat for several reasons. One, she inserts a modern voice into the work; the characters sound decidedly too 21st century. Secondly, the grammatical errors alone were enough to induce me to stop reading. Every page was rife with comma splices. Has Goodwin never heard of a period or a semicolon? And third, the work lacks the depth of a novel such as The Age of Innocence, which is, in my humble opinion, one of the most perfect novels ever written. I definitely do not recommend this book to anyone expecting something resembling good literature. ( )
  silva_44 | Oct 25, 2014 |
It is the late 19th century. When rich American Cora and her mother head to Europe to find Cora a husband with a title, Cora doesn't actually expect to fall in love. But she does. She and Ivo soon get married and Cora moves to England. However, their life isn't what Cora expected it to be.

Despite not liking most of the characters in the book, I quite liked the book. But wow, what a bunch of stuck-up rich catty people! However, it was still entertaining to read. ( )
  LibraryCin | Sep 9, 2014 |
Loosely based on the life of Consuelo Vanderbilt, the author did a very credible job of portraying the loneliness of life as a Duchess in England. Far away from America, and the busy social life of balls, dinners and high society, now, life in a cold castle visited by those with titles and a multitude of layers upon layers of social snobbery, Cora Cash longs to fit in and understand all the rules.

Knowing that she was married for her wealth, longing for love and loyalty, Cora must hold her head up high as the poisonous darts hit their mark of vulnerability.

Money cannot buy love, but it can buy a title, a castle that your wealth must repair, and the sad company of those who thrive on nastiness.

Recommended. ( )
  Whisper1 | Aug 28, 2014 |
Not a single shining head turned in her direction as she followed Lord Bridport into the throng. Cora was not sure how she felt about this, to be anonymous was an unfamiliar sensation.

I picked this up from the clearance rack at my local Half Price Books because not only did the cover catch my eye but the book summary made it seem like a book that was right up my alley. While Cora was a character that I did like, I spent the whole time reading this book feeling sorry for her. It seemed like she was always being put down by some of the other characters (mostly the bitchy women she was surrounded by) and I kept yelling at her to get a backbone and either slap the bitchy women or start speaking up for herself. Cora may be extremely rich but she is also naive.

This book has been compared with some great authors (Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and Daphne du Maurier) but what I found that could be compared to some classic literary greats was the relationship between Cora and the Duke. I could definitely see shades of Heathcliff and Catherine in regards to the Duke and another character in this book. I also could see shades of Scarlett, Ashley, and Melanie in Cora and Duke's relationship (I figure Cora would be the 'Melanie' in this situation). I was never quite satisfied with the relationship between Cora and the Duke but that is probably because I never liked the Duke.

I liked that not only did readers follow Cora but they also followed her maid (I guess you could call her that, I don't really remember the correct term) Bertha. To see how their lives really differed but were also quite similar in some ways added extra depth to the story. I didn't really like any of the other secondary characters (well probably except for Teddy) because they all treated Cora like garbage.

All throughout the book I was impatiently waiting for Cora to stick up for herself. After the revelations towards the end I was excited to see Cora finally get a backbone. Quite frankly they were not revelations to readers because even though it was new to Cora readers could see it coming from a mile. I was really disappointed with the ending and it felt like quite the letdown. The ending looked for sure like it was going one way but then it took a turn for the worse and I was not pleased with how the characters ended up. It didn't seem like anything changed at all and I hated seeing Cora end up where she did. ( )
  dpappas | Aug 25, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 90 (next | show all)
A shrewd, spirited historical romance with flavors of Edith Wharton, Daphne du Maurier, Jane Austen, Upstairs, Downstairs and a dash of People magazine that charts a bumpy marriage of New World money and Old World tradition.
added by Shortride | editKirkus Reviews (Jun 1, 2011)
 
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For my father Richard Goodwin - my ideal reader
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The visiting hour was almost over, so the hummingbird man encountered only the occasional carriage as he pushed his cart along the narrow strip of road between the mansions of Newport and the Atlantic ocean.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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UK Title: My Last Duchess
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Book description
Beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, the wealthiest debutante in America, is spirited away from the glamour and comfort of her Park Avenue mansion and suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, mistress of Lulworth Castle, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. As Cora is soon to discover, nothing in this strange new world is quite as it seems. Her handsome new husband is withdrawn and secretive; the English social scene is stuffed with pitfalls and traps; and there are increasingly dangerous forces at work, people who wish she'd never met Ivo in the first place. THE AMERICAN HEIRESS is a dazzling debut novel from Daisy Goodwin, whose brilliant new voice is reminiscent of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Kate Morton.
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"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. Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora's story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James. "For daughtersof the new American billionaires of the 19th century, it was the ultimate deal: marriage to a cash-strapped British Aristocrat in return for a title and social status. But money didn't always buy them happiness." --DAISY GOODWIN IN THE DAILY MAIL"--… (more)

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