The American Heiress because I heard good things about it. It was exactly the type of historical fiction I like: interesting characters, richly detailed historical setting, and sweeping romance. I enjoyed The American Heiress.
Cora is the toast of Newport in 1893. She is the heiress to the Cash flour fortune. Cora's mother is looking to find a suitable match for Cora. Cora is looking for love. On a trip to England, Cora accidentally meets Ivo, the Duke of Wareham. Cora is thrust into English society and must learn how to navigate being a Duchess.
I liked the almost fish of water tale that became Cora's life. Cora was a big fish in America but in England, she needed to learn everything all over again. I did like Cora. She's strong and smart and loves with her whole heart. There was something almost endearing about Cora. I also enjoyed the side story about Bertha, Cora's maid. Bertha enjoys her job but misses her home in South Carolina. In England, Bertha doesn't feel her race matters to people as much. Bertha meets a man in England and starts a relationship with another servant. In the United States, their relationship, a white man with a black woman, would be illegal in some states but condemned by society. I did find it interesting that servants were not permitted to marry. Anyone know any historical fiction written from the servants point of view besides The Remains of The Day?
Overall I enjoyed The American Heiress. I thought the end wrapped everything up too quickly but I think I just didn't want to leave Cora's world. Others who shared their thoughts about The American Heiress: Devourer of Books, Wandeca Reads, BookNAround, and Life From A Lefty.
This is my first read for the 2013 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.