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The Traitor's Wife: A Novel Paperback – February 11, 2014


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476738602
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476738604
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (732 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A most impressive debut.” (Philippa Gregory)

“One of the best, best, best historical novels, I was riveted…I couldn’t put it down." (Kathie Lee Gifford, The TODAY Show)

"Pataki smoothly weaves intrigue and personality with critical historical facts...Historical fiction lovers will look forward to more from this promising new novelist." (Publisher's Weekly)

“A well-balanced narrative… events offers fresh perspective, plenty of intrigue and a host of interesting, multidimensional characters." (Kirkus (starred review))

"If you read one book this year, make it Allison Pataki's THE TRAITOR'S WIFE. Few authors have taken on America's Revolutionary War so convincingly, and this story of Benedict Arnold's wife will appeal to lovers of historical fiction everywhere. Highly, highly recommended!" (Michelle Moran, international bestselling author of Madame Tussaud)

"Allison Pataki's captivating debut novel examines history’s most famous tale of treachery through a woman's eyes. Meticulously written and well-researched, this story will transport you back to the American Revolution and keep you turning pages with both its intrigue and love story. The Traitor's Wife is a well-told tale." (Lee Woodruff, author, blogger and television personality)

"I consider this to be the debut of a major writer of historical fiction." (Mary Higgins Clark)

"The Traitor's Wife is a gripping novel steeped in compelling historical detail. Pataki writes lyrically and succeeds in bringing to life, and humanizing, notorious characters from our nation's past. Ultimately a story about honor and heart, readers will have a hard time putting this book down." (Aidan Donnelley Rowley, author of Life After Yes)

Allison Pataki has given us a great gift: a powerful story of love and betrayal, drawn straight from the swiftly beating heart of the American Revolution. Replete with compelling characters, richly realized settings, a sweeping plot, and a heroine who comes to feel like a dear, familiar friend, The Traitor's Wife is sure to delight readers of romance and lovers of history alike. (Karen Halvorsen Schreck, author of Sing For Me)

"Everything the casual reader of American history thinks they know about Benedict Arnold will be handily upset by the skillful and mesmerizing storytelling of fiction newcomer Allison Pataki. This text is a treasure and a treat." (CBA Retailers and Resources)

About the Author

Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of The Traitor’s Wife and The Accidental Empress. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets. The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, as well as a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband. To learn more and connect with Allison visit AllisonPataki.com or on Twitter @AllisonPataki.

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Customer Reviews

Very well written.
Connie Horn
The story of Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold is told through the voice of Peggy's maid, Clara Bell.
Ave Fairfield
Allison Pataki did a great job telling this story.
Lancop101

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 66 people found the following review helpful By the GreatReads! TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback
The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki is an entrancing historical novel soaked in romance, lust, conspiracy, and loyalty bringing both its perfidious and faithful characters to life in ways only a debutant of Allison’s creativity and caliber could manage. It is also a story of one’s heart staying true to the bigger picture of life, nullifying the immediate in the ultimate pursuit of the greater good, and readers will have a difficult time putting the book on the shelf.

The novel is based on the life of General Benedict Arnold, who was a merchant when the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775. He joined the army and distinguished himself. He was involved in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1775, the Battle of Valcour Island in 1776, the Battle of Ridgefield, and the Battles of Saratoga in 1777. He was charged with corruption and other cases, but when Congress investigated it was found that he was spending much of his own money on the war effort. Exasperated and bitter, Arnold changed sides. His plot was exposed when British Major John André was captured carrying papers that exposed the strategy. Learning of André's capture, Arnold fled down the Hudson River to the British warship, HMS Vulture.

But the story is more about his scheming and manipulative wife, Margaret “Peggy” Shippen Arnold, told through the eyes of a fictional maid Clara Bell. Described as a fine-featured woman, her hair piled high atop her head, always wearing a quizzical smile on her face, Peggy was a devoted wife, loving mother, a popular socialite who influenced Benedict Arnold to turn against the cause for which he fought with courage and bravery. The book covers a period of over two years from May 1778 to September 1780 during the American Revolutionary War.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Shawn S. Sullivan on September 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Allison Pataki's debut novel, The Traitor's Wife, demonstrates both a wonderful and uniquely accurate portrayal of a pivotal moment in American history, along with very well-honed writing skills. As a student of American Studies vs. American History, she is in a wonderful position to write authoritatively about what it was actually like during a critical period of our nation's history. It is written in color, not black and white. Her use of a fictitious maid gives the reader unfettered and wonderful access to Peggy Shippen (Arnold's wife) who was once John Andre's lover. Andre, in this love triangle, critical in American history, schemed with Arnold to create an event that would have radically altered, if not ended, the US Revolution. Peggy's role was hardly minor - in fact it, in large part, precipitated the treason by her much older husband. Ms. Patacki's ability to bring Peggy into this story (a back-story long ignored) and bring the reader into a fascinating story is nothing short of brilliant. Her desire, as a writer, to find critical historical periods and write from the viewpoint of a woman, hardly commonplace, is a real skill. We should all look forward to more great reads from this young and incredibly talented author. A Traitor's Wife is a very fun and interesting read. Get a copy; read it, you will not be disappointed.
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70 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Katiemc10 on February 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was an excellent historical fiction, filled with the facts. The author, Allison Pataki, does an excellent job of engaging her audience. She turns an otherwise somewhat dry history lesson into a page-turner of a novel. My only regret is that I can't share it with my children because of the graphic sex scenes. I think the book would have been even better without the sex scene in the bath tub. As a home schooling mom of four, I can guarantee there is a huge market for historical fiction sans R rated material. I would urge Ms. Pataki make available an edited version for a younger audience. It's so important to teach our children the history of our country. Historical novels are an excellent way to engage a younger reader.
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113 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Kristine Hansen on May 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
This story deserved to be told by a much better writer than Allison Pataki. It is about a very important moment in American history, and all the elements of a very fine drama were there for the taking. In the hands of a better writer, this would have been a stunning, suspenseful novel because the plot is already in place. All that would be needed are well-developed characters and enough historical research to bring the period to life. But instead this book is part bodice ripper, part soap opera, and part juvenile fiction. It's a clumsy freshman attempt that isn't even well-edited (don't publishers hire editors anymore?). As an English professor, I was terribly annoyed by the constant grammatical mistakes. And the anachronisms were just as bad. Sometimes the characters speak in a faux 18th century style and sometimes as if they lived today. And they had access to foods and other things that I'm pretty sure 18th century colonists did not have. Worst of all, the author invents a character, Peggy Shippen Arnold's maid, Clara Bell, to build the story around. But it's completely unbelievable that Arnold and his wife would have done all their plotting about spying for the British in front of Mrs. Arnold's maid--that the maid would just happen to have been in the room every time they were discussing their plans and would have known every detail of the whole intrigue, yet the Arnolds would have been blithely unconcerned about this fact. Despite the maid's serious moral concerns about the treachery her employers are engaged in, she actually helps the supposedly stupid Benedict Arnold understand how to use the spy code that John Andre has sent to Arnold. Here's the lesson I learned: don't believe the blurbs on the back cover. Read a little before you spend even a dime on any piece of trash like this "novel."
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More About the Author

Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of THE TRAITOR'S WIFE and THE ACCIDENTAL EMPRESS. She graduated Cum Laude from Yale University with a major in English and spent several years writing for TV and online news outlets. The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and FoxNews.com, as well as a member of The Historical Novel Society. Allison lives in Chicago with her husband. To learn more and connect with Allison visit AllisonPataki.com or on Twitter @AllisonPataki.

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The Traitor's Wife: A Novel
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