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The English Wife by Lauren Willig
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The English Wife

by Lauren Willig

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book set in late 19 century New York - the Gilded Age. This book is about family secrets, greed, lust, pride, deception, and even murder. I found the characters to be believable and realistic. To all outside appearances Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvell seem to be a golden couple. They have beautiful three year old twin children, Viola and Sebastian. They have a gorgeous mansion that Bayard has just built for his wife. The world doesn't see the secrets and deceptions that they each hide from the world as well as each other. And then one night, during their housewarming 12th night ball, the family is ripped apart. Annabelle disappears and Bayard is found with a dagger in his chest lying on the floor of their folly. Bayard's sister Janie wants to find out the truth and asks for help from an earnest young reporter. Together they piece together the shocking events of January 6, and the fallout ripples throughout the whole of society. I really enjoyed the book. It moved quickly and the tension remained throughout. I felt like I really got to know Janie Van Duyvell, and rooted for her throughout. ( )
  Romonko | Jul 20, 2018 |
Twelfth Night, 1899. The cream of Old Knickerbocker society has been invited to a costume ball, celebrating the completion of a new Hudson River 'castle,' Illyria, a brick-for-brick reconstruction of the ancestral home of the lady of the house, Annabelle Lacey Van Duyvil (the English wife of the title), built for her by her loving husband Bayard. But festivities come to an abrupt end when Bay's sister Janie and their cousin Anne discover Bay's body with a jeweled dagger in his chest. Before he dies, he utters a name: "George." To make matters worse, Annabelle has gone missing -- although Janie believes she has seen her sister-in-law's body disappear into the Hudson. She is resolved to clear her brother's name, since gossip is suggesting that he murdered his wife due to her affair with their new home's architect, then killed himself. Her path has crossed that of James Burke, a newspaper reporter, and she seeks him out to assist her in uncovering the truth. Complications ensue when Giles Lacey, an Englishman, turns up and insists that the Annabelle everyone thought they knew is an imposter. -- The story bounces back and forth from the aftermath of the murder/disappearance to Bay's courtship of Annabelle some five years earlier. There is mystery in both story strands, which come to a dramatic conclusion that is almost cinematic and which resolve the mysteries of the Van Duyvils in a (mostly) satisfactory manner. Quite a difficult book to put down! I enjoyed it immensely. ( )
  David_of_PA | Jul 14, 2018 |
"Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he's the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whom they dote, and he's recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and renamed it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she's having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay's sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?"
I may be the only one who thinks this, but I could not get through this book. I found it to be a total snooze fest. The story was very uninteresting and the author's writing style was very difficult to follow the story line. I try to finish every book I pick up but this one I just couldn't finish. I bailed 👎🏻 ( )
  TheReadingMermaid | May 14, 2018 |
This historical story opens with the deaths of Bayard and Annabelle Van Duyvil. The following chapters then switch between past and “present,” revealing both the events that lead to that night and Bay’s sister’s search to uncover the truth after the fact. It’s an intriguing mystery, full of secrets, scandal, and romance, and I really enjoyed it. ( )
  hes7 | May 8, 2018 |
Lush with detail, full of intrigue and rife with mystery, Lauren Willig’s The English Wife is a treat for fans of historical fiction.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 1899 storyline featuring Janie and James.

Watching Janie stretch out from the stifling confinements her mother and society had placed on her was a pleasure.

I also really loved the way Willig captured the feel of a turn-of-the-century newsroom — I work in the news industry and absolutely love books that feature anything to do with newspapers.

Janie’s and James’ investigation into Bay’s death was my favorite part of the novel.

While I found the dual storyline about Bay and Georgie interesting, I did not enjoy it as much as the one featuring Janie.

Willig has recreated the lush world of the Gilded Age and peopled it with a well-rounded cast of characters.

Janie’s mother was an interesting, extremely complex character — one of those you just love to root against.

However, at times, I felt like certain characters were acting in manners that didn’t always make sense to me.

Willig also is the author of The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, The Other Daughter and The Ashford Affair.

The English Wife is the perfect read for fans of Renee Rosen, Karen White and Beatriz Williams.

It was released by St. Martin’s Press on Jan. 9. ( )
  kd_lawson | May 7, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Willigprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kreinik, BarrieNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Serrano, ErvinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"They say he's bankrupted himself rebuilding the house -- all for her, of course." (Prologue)
New York 1899
January

KNICKERBOCKER MURDERS WIFE AND KILLS HIMSELF

MURDER AND SUICIDE ON THE HUDSON!
It was impossible to ignore the headlines; they screamed out in black bold type from either side of the street, in the hands of newspapermen waving the latest editions.
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Book description
From New York Times bestselling author, Lauren Willig, comes this scandalous novel set in the Gilded Age, full of family secrets, affairs, and even murder.

Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in New York: he's the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whom they dote, and he's recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and renamed it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she's having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay's sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips? [retrieved 1/27/18 from Amazon.com]
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"Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life in 1890s New York: he's the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor house in England, they had a fairytale romance in London, they have three-year-old twins on whom they dote, and he's recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and named it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she's having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors, and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay's sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to try to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?"--Book jacket.… (more)

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