Review

Review: The American Heiress ~ by Daisy Goodwin

The American Heiress ~ by Daisy Goodwin

St. Martin’s Griffin~ 465 pages

Genre: Historical Fiction/Gilded Age

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 3.5/5

Description: “Newport heiress Cora Cast- beautiful, spirited, and the richest girl in the country- is the closest thing that American society has to a princess in 1893. But her mother wants more and whisks Cora away to England for the one thing money can’t buy in the States: a title. Be careful what you wish for. Cora makes a dazzling impression on English society – followed by a brilliant match – but finds the chill in the air of magnificent ancestral homes is not solely due to the lack of central heating. Faced with the traps and betrayals of an old-world aristocracy that can trip up even the most charming, accomplished outsider, Cora must grow a spoiled rich girl into a woman of substance.”

My thoughts: The beginning of this novel started out really strong for me, it seemed to be setting up to be a Downton Abbey-esque, upstairs/downstairs, marriage plot drama. However, the “marriage plot” portion of the drama was settled early on and then the plot fell completely flat. The ending was anticlimactic because there was very little plot remaining at that point. As for the upstairs/downstairs element, this was lacking as well because, Bertha, Cora’s lady’s maid, was one of the most interesting characters of the novel, but her story is never fully rounded out. Her drama is just as compelling as Cora’s, but the reader only gets glimpses of her story. I also had reservations with the main character, Cora. At the beginning of the novel, Cora is compared to Jane Austen’s, Emma. “Emma Woodhouse was not rich in the way that she, Cora Cash, was rich…but Emma Woodhouse was motherless which meant, thought Cora, that she was handsome, clever, rich and free.” Like Emma, Cora is rich, spoiled, and self-centered. But unlike Emma, Cora never really changes throughout the novel. I kept holding out hope that she was going to morph into a more compassionate person, but this never happened. Lastly, what I did like about the novel was how authentic it was to the time period. The American Gilded Age/English Victorian Age is my favorite era to read about and Goodwin definitely makes the reader feel immersed in that era. She beautifully describes the setting, clothing, manners, and language of the time with great care and detail.

If you have read this, or plan to, let me know!! Happy Reading ~XO

For more information about Daisy Goodwin and her novels, you can find her on Goodreads

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1 thought on “Review: The American Heiress ~ by Daisy Goodwin”

  1. Pingback: March Wrap-Up

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