Yea, I finally read through another book! Feels like it takes me awhile to get through them only because I am so busy, often my reading schedule is cut short.
The American Heiress
by Daisy Goodwin
I picked this book up without looking at any reviews or hearing any suggestions I just thought it looked pretty. There are some words above the author’s name here on my copy that says,”Anyone suffering Downton Abbey withdrawal symptoms will find an instant tonic in this evocative novel.”- Allison Pearson. At that time I do believe Downton Abbey had just ended and I did watch the show. Most of the time when I watch shows it is background noise for me while I do other things such as blogging. I loved that show mostly because it looked beautiful and there was enough drama going on to hold my interests. Anyway enough about the show, though that is another reason I was drawn into this book.
This genre is not really one I pick up often and I guess that’s why I felt it needed a whole lot of introduction here. I do not really read romance and I don’t usually read historical fiction either. I did enjoy the style of writing though and something about it enticed me to keep going. I was thrilled about the descriptions that went into the fashions, I think that was my favourite part. In fact I enjoyed hearing about the dresses and jewels more than I did about the romance or characters. The main character Cora Cash had such a spunk and sassy personality with a little bit of privileged, spoiled, rich girl. I enjoyed her for most of the novel. Her character changes so much though and she becomes a whiny weak oh poor me spoiled rich girl. In fact there was a character in the novel who also stated she was surprised how much Cora Cash had changed.
*** spoiler alert ***
I feel as though the book had so much potential for more intense drama. The book reeled me in with with a mischievous girl Cora Cash asking for kissing lessons from a ladies maid, there was another kiss between Cora and Teddy Van Der Leyden in front of everybody only to be pretty much forgotten about. A woman getting her face burnt off from yes a very elaborate dress. It was sounding pretty great to me. Though this is kind of where the action slows. It’s not even as pretty for a little while and the characters are just not likeable. There was a great character with all these tattoos he was described nicely than never heard of again maybe a brief mention. Many other events and characters briefly introduced and than never mentioned again. So many events that did happen like the scandalous artists, cheating husband, jealous girl, mysterious family deaths, over bearing mother in law, over flirtations prince, gold digging duke, all these playing a peek a boo game but only peeking and no boo if you get my meaning. So much lost potential for some major drama lost here. The romance part of it, yikes, I was hardly romanced by anything here, a Mr. Tall, dark, handsome, and mysterious ends up being disappointing, boring and unlikable. I always cry at weddings even when I read about them but nothing here. There was a great character here a stalker kind of fanatic had so much potential only to be never brought up again. Cora turns into a shadow of a wife behind a title that took away her personality and replaced it with pathetic, weeping, push over, who can’t even give orders to the help. There was a wonderful romance happening behind the scenes which I loved and wished there was more of a cat and mouse flirtation there though. It could have been better, the romance there could have been elaborated on it was an intense attraction that could almost be mistaken for Jim being a sex hound instead of an actual love tale but again, a missed opportunity.
It may not seem like it but I did enjoy the read, it was just past the halfway point when I stayed up almost all night to finish it because I just had to know how it ended. I have to say I was disappointed in the final ending. A desperate pathetic excuse for a man, I thought, for a brief moment, was going to go over the edge like actually jump off a cliff kind of edge and that Cora would run away with Teddy her childhood friend who adores her. At least the actual romance with Bertha and Jim could survive but I just felt sorry for Cora and especially Teddy, what was with that at the end was he going to start courting Charlotte why did that even need to be there? I guess we will sum that bit up as another missed opportunity?
I was absolutely intrigued by the imagery in the novel especially the fashions, I did enjoy the period fiction and comparison of wealth and culture between countries. Though the novel wasn’t really a tonic for Downton Abbey it just actually made me miss it more.
I’ll give this novel a 3 out of 5
Have you read it this before? Tell me what you thought of it. I always welcome suggested reads if you think of something I might like let me know here!