The American Heiress
Author: Daisy Goodwin
Published: June 21, 2011
Genre: historical romance
Hardcover: 468 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): 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 Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals.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.
My Thoughts: I have been wanting to read this book for months (my Waiting on Wednesday pick way back in April!), so when I was finally able to get my hands on a copy at the library, I grabbed it. First off, that cover is gorgeous. Second, I love historical fiction, and I find the gilded era to be such an interesting time in American history. Third, it seemed like something that I would love. And for me, it wasn't worth the wait. It was a good book, I might pick up one of Daisy Goodwin's books in the future, but I wouldn't be anxiously awaiting her next release.
For me, the book was just too long. There were so many times in the book where I was bored with what was going on. About 75-100 pages could have been edited out and wouldn't have affected the plot. On the other hand, the last 100 pages of the book were fantastic. I didn't know what would happen, what Cora would decide, what Ivo would do, and what her mother and mother-in-law would say! It had me guessing and kept me on the edge of my seat.
There are many characters in the book, which could be confusing at times. Once again, I felt like some of the people that are mentioned in the story could have been edited out without the plot suffering. I found Cora to be very interesting. She knows who she is and what she wants, and she also realizes why men would be interested in her (she's the heir to the biggest fortune in America). She doesn't shy away from this and knows that it's her money that will bring her a husband. Ivo, Cora's husband and an English duke, definitely uses her for her family's wealth but he is such a slimeball that you don't care that he used her for the money. There could have been more character development with these two, but it wasn't a huge downside for me.
If you enjoy long, historical novels, then check this book out. However, if you aren't looking to invest a long period of time into reading a novel that seems repetitive at times, then it's best to look for something else.