Tuesday, February 26, 2019

American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper






Before Meghan and Harry, another American ‘princess’ captured the hand of an English aristocrat. Now, Karen Harper tells the tale of Consuelo Vanderbilt, her “The Wedding of the Century” to the Duke of Marlborough, and her quest to find meaning behind “the glitter and the gold.”

On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?

From the dawning of the opulent Gilded Age, to the battles of the Second World War, American Duchess is a riveting tale of one woman’s quest to attain independence—at any price.


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About The Author




A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Karen Harper is a former college English instructor (The Ohio State University) and high school literature and writing teacher. A lifelong Ohioan, Karen and her husband Don divide their time between the midwest and the southeast, both locations she has used in her books. Besides her American settings, Karen loves the British Isles, where her Scottish and English roots run deep, and where she has set many of her historical Tudor-era mysteries and her historical novels about real and dynamic British women. Karen's books have been published in many foreign languages and she won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for 2005. Karen has given numerous talks to readers and writers across the county. Her most recent books include THE SOUTH SHORES TRILOGY (CHASING SHADOWS, DROWNING TIDES and FALLING DARKNESS.) Her latest historical is THE ROYAL NANNY. Please visit her website at www.KarenHarperAuthor and her fb page at www.facebook.com/KarenHarperAuthor


My Review




I enjoyed this historical fiction story of Consuelo Vanderbilt and we walk in her shoes as she journeys her life, and although being born with the preverbal silver spoon, we see her trials and accomplishments up close through the eyes of the author.
Now I’ll admit I did Google Consuelo, and the story follows the time line, only we are with her and her thoughts.
What a life this woman lived, and loved how she was able to forgive those who had hurt her, and was always giving to those less fortunate.
A don’t miss book for the new year, and your enjoyment!

I received this book through Edelweiss and the Publisher William Morrow, and was not required to give a positive review  
 

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