THE AMERICAN HEIRESS by Daisy Goodwin
Kirkus Star

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS

KIRKUS REVIEW

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.

He’s Ivo Maltravers, the proud English Duke of Wareham, currency poor but heritage wealthy; and she’s Cora Cash, if not prejudiced then certainly a forthright modern girl who may be the richest American heiress of the late-Victorian era. Their engagement swiftly follows a hunting accident in England, and details of the marriage, such as her gold-and-diamond-trimmed corset and 90-couture-gown trousseau, fill the gossip magazines of the day. But once installed at Lulworth, Ivo’s vast country estate, Cora—like the heroine of Rebecca at Manderley—begins to feel a little out of her depth. The English are slippery, not least Ivo’s mother, the Double Duchess, and Ivo himself seems to be involved with the beautiful blond wife of another nobleman. British TV producer Goodwin’s debut, a knowing, judicious blend of Gilded Age extravagance, below-stairs perspective, delivered via Cora’s black maid, and sophisticated social tableaux, offers reader satisfaction. The marriage suffers its threats, and misunderstandings but a finale overlooking the crashing waves of a Dorset beach resolves matters with characteristic passion and maturity.

Superior entertainment.
Pub Date: June 21st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-65865-6
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2011




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