Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The American Heiress: A Novel Paperback – March 27, 2012
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
“Ms. Goodwin...writes deliciously.” ―Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“A propulsive story of love, manners, culture clash, and store-bought class from a time long past that proves altogether fresh.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Top-notch writing....will please fans of historical romance, including book club members.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“[An] exceptionally thoughtful and stunning historical novel that will leave you reeling and astonished...and give you the urge to re-read it the instant the last page is turned.” ―BookReporter.com
“Smart, emotional, entertaining writing....a delicious tale that captivates.” ―RT Book Reviews
“Deliciously classy. A story that gallops along, full of exquisite period detail.” ―Kate Mosse, New York Times bestselling author of Labyrinth
“Sparkling and thoroughly engaging...a highly enjoyable and intelligent read.” ―The Sunday Times (U.K.)
“I was seduced by this book, rather as Cora was seduced by her duke: with great skill and confidence. Intriguing, atmospheric, and extremely stylish.” ―Penny Vincenzi, author of The Best of Times
“A wonderful, guilty pleasure of a read. The detailing is beautiful...and the relief of reading a novel that puts enjoyment first so rare and gratifying that I am ready for a sequel.” ―Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire and A World on Fire
About the Author
DAISY GOODWIN, a Harkness scholar who attended Columbia University's film school after earning a degree in history at Cambridge University, is a leading television producer in the U.K. Her poetry anthologies, including 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life, have introduced many new readers to the pleasures of poetry, and she was Chair of the judging panel of the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction. She and her husband, an ABC TV executive, have two daughters and live in London. The American Heiress is her first novel.
Top Customer Reviews
Cora is a rich "new money" American girl who is pushed by her mother to find a titled husband in Europe. The time period and custom of classes seemed flawless and I really enjoyed seeing both the master and servant life. It has a sort of Titanic -like all encompassing view of life in the 1890's that explores much more than just Cora's life. Through the eyes of her black (but free) maid, Bertha, we get to see Cora from an outsiders viewpoint, which is rather fun.
The writer has an excellent command of language and style and I would give other works of hers a chance. Descriptive passages like, "The white limestone houses, clustered along the cliffs like a collection of wedding cakes..." are so beautiful, they really transport you into her scenes. Also, it is quite entertaining to see Cora's mother try to be the most extravagant but ultimately set herself ablaze at THE ball of the season.
In fact, there is nothing in the beginning of the book that would have warned me what I was getting into. By the middle of the book, I was so caught up in Cora's life that I felt protective of her and angry that she could not see the scandal being set up around her. With every comment Cora didn't catch and trick she fell for, I got angrier. I am not a fan of infidelity and this book seemed to say that no one could possibly live a life of monogamy. Every marriage is filled with deceit, flirtations with others, and unhappiness covered with plastic smiles.Read more ›
However, is this highly educated and groomed young woman really ready for the stuffy and proper English gentility? And did her duke marry for love or money?
Goodwin's novel is a very entertaining read. I had a hard time putting it down to go to sleep each night this week. Reminding me of Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence with it's decadence and moral themes, this novel is full of fresh plot twists and elegant but ultimately self-serving characters. Cora, while narcissistic and conceited, is so young and naive that I couldn't help but hope the best for her as she stumbles her way through the English protocol and the intrigue that awaits in her new life.
By turns romantic and tragic, American Heiress lured me in with details of the extravagant lifestyles of the extremely wealthy but captured and held my attention with a well-paced plot and fabulously delicious and devious characters. It's a "guilty pleasure" but not too guilty, because Goodwin is pretty good at keeping the details of the "bedroom" scenes brief and discreet.
This is one enthralling summer read.
Rich and unworldly, but outspoken American girl in England to marry a title. Mission accomplished but then she discovers qualities in M'Lord that leave her bewildered and unhappy.
Does the Duke love her or his ex-girlfriend? The plot revolves around this question.
There's an unstairs-downstairs element to the story as we watch the heiress' lady's maid (who is Black) experience the lack of color prejudice among her lower class peers.
The Duke is a totally cardboard character: His motivation at the beginning was not made clear and at the end it was tritely predictable. The heiress, then Duchess, is a bit more real though not very interesting. The lady's maid came off as the most fully realized and believable character.
I would have given this even fewer stars but there was at times some good dialogue between characters. Enough to keep me reading to the end.
I found myself quite confused at Mrs. Daisy, our first time author. She is somehow simultaneously an excellent writer and painfully inadequate. Her attention to detail, the flow and rhythm of the book, setting the scene and overall mood were flawless. Unfortunately, the characters had little more depth, diversity or development than a paperback novel (think steamy cover, less than 150 pages and plenty of girly style porn - bleh). Sooooo we have a rich heiress, spoiled and wanting to be free. Ummm yep. That's pretty much all you ever learn about her. She honestly doesn't ever change or develop. She simply responds to what's around her. There is never a moment of introspection, never an added level to her personality. While we hear her thoughts constantly somehow she keeps us at arms length for the whole book - and not in an intriguing, mysterious way, just in a shallow, nope-that's-really-all-there-is-to-her way. Bertha is a cringe-worthy cliché. Steady, smart, flawless... yaaaaawn! When she decides to stay with Cora and not Jim at the end, her reasons are entirely out of character! She has not shown for a fraction of a second that she had any true connection or concern for Cora so it is quite bewildering that she suddenly, inexplicably thinks of her mistress as "her only family". Of course we have two one-dimensional mothers concerned only with themselves and their societies, not their children.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Took me a while to get into it! But once I did, I didn't want it to end! Good read!Published 19 hours ago by Shopping Momma
In addition to the story of the American heiress and the English title, there is much info regarding the English social classes in society. Very enjoyable.Published 6 days ago by Gail Bohling
First of all, I'd like to preface my review by saying that I never really understand when reviewers say things like "I'll never get that time back" when criticizing a book... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Ga303
For some reason, I thought this book was based on an actual person. Once I figured out otherwise, the book was still interesting enough that I finished reading it.Published 24 days ago by C. Bauman
Lots of fun details about the time period, fashion of the day, and rules of both American and British society, but nothing really happens. Read morePublished 25 days ago by E. Stelford
This was a very good book. The only criticism is the author used a lot of words that most people would not use or say. More common words would haPublished 1 month ago by John Staradumsky