6 July 2011

Review: MY LAST DUCHESS by Daisy Goodwin ****

Beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, the wealthiest debutante in America, is spirited away from the glamour and comfort of her Park Avenue mansion and suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, mistress of Lulworth Castle, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. As Cora is soon to discover, nothing in this strange new world is quite as it seems. Her handsome new husband is withdrawn and secretive; the English social scene is stuffed with pitfalls and traps; and there are increasingly dangerous forces at work, people who wish she'd never met Ivo in the first place.

THE AMERICAN HEIRESS is a dazzling debut novel from Daisy Goodwin, whose brilliant new voice is reminiscent of Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Kate Morton.

The other day I was just in the mood to read something lovely and historical, which I haven't done in quite a while and I really missed it. I don't know why, but I just felt drawn to this book - maybe it was the cover, or simply the promise of getting lost in the 1890s, which is my absolute favourite historical period to read about ...

I really loved the book at first. The amazing ridiculousness of the Gilded Age simply blew me away, as always, haha. I really warmed up to Cora (the richest girl in the world!) and was really excited about the prospect of her journey to England, meeting her husband etc. Overall, I absolutely adored the whole atmosphere of the book, but I just thought the story itself was a bit ... boring? Don't get me wrong, it was beautifully written, but I just felt nothing was happening. I was waiting for a huge mystery or a big scandal to happen, but nothing. Well, there was this thing towards the end, but it was far less exciting than I expected it to be.

Oh and don't even get me started on the ending, which I thought was left far too open. I really wanted to know what happened to all the characters and then all I got was ... a rushed mess with loose strings. I don't think there's enough material for a sequel, but surely this can't be the end? How did T react? And what happened to B&J? I just felt there were pages missing and ultimately I was left unsatisfied.

All in all, I loved loved LOVED getting lost in the lifestyles of the rich and the famous of the late 19th century. So delightful! The atmosphere was magical, the language was magnificent and the characters were lovely, but I just wished there was more to the story; nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it immensly.

overall rating:
plot: 3/5 | writing: 5/5 | characters: 4/5 | cover: 5/5


One More Page said...

I've had this on my TBR pile for a while and now I've read your review I'll have to read it soon but I'm a bit worried about the open ending - I like my endings neatly tied up!

Kirthi said...

is this YA or adult historical fiction? It sounds so good!

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