Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Received from the Amazon Vine program for review
“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 Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals.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.I have not encountered a novel that has been set (at least partially) in Newport, Rhode Island during the golden age of the “summer cottages” of the mega wealthy. It is such a beautiful setting and is probably one of the few settings in the United States that can evoke such a vivid world as European castles of old. Only a small portion of the novel is set here before it moves into well known Victorian England – but it still brought gorgeous pictures to mind.
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.”
It was also refreshing to read a romance novel for a change. This book treads more heavily on the romance side of the coin than the historical but there is enough there to certainly give you the sense of Victorian England. We even get to have Prince Bertie as a relatively important side character. It was also very interesting to see American upper class society juxtaposed against the English upper class – they were vastly different and it became quite an important plot device throughout the novel.
This was a great read and even though it ended in possibly not the most ideal situation it was still what I was rooting for. I even held off finishing the book for a few days because I really didn’t want it to end – it was such an enjoyable ride. I would certainly love to read another book by this author, it was a great debut.
And on a completely random note – I think the author had inspired choices for character names – I am particularly fond of Cora Cash!
The narrator was wonderful. She was a very flexible reader and had great accents for all of her characters. She had to switch between American and British accents throughout the story and I thought this was done seamlessly. At the end of the novel there was an interview with the author which was a wonderful treat. One thing that I found quite interesting was that she had never written dialogue before and so she would often read it out loud to hear how it sounded – which I think was perfect preparation for an audiobook.
You can visit Daisy Goodwin’s website for additional information about the book. You can read an excerpt of the book or hear a snippet of the audiobook for your previewing enjoyment.
You can watch this conversation with the author for some information about this story:
You can also read an interview with the author over at Unabridged Chick.
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