Goodwin brings us a character that we follow on a long journey. American Heiress is set in the Gilded Age of the late 1800’s and Goodwin clearly takes you there with her words and skills in writing.Cora, a beautiful young woman that has everything, but is stuck in a cage that she needs freedom from. The cage really being her domineering mother, but also Cora has not found love. A long book standing at a 468 pages, I found that at first I didn’t connect with our heroine Cora. If you give it time though the other chapters, you will learn to love her for who she is and what she wants, her ambition and her tenacity for life. Although our heroine does find love with an impoverished duke, she has a new title as duchess to fill. Not all is what it seems, it seems that being duchess is not all that easy and there is a new learning curve. Not to mention her new found love and title has gotten her out of the clutches of her mother, but the duke is not always as loving. Will everything turn out for the beloved Cora? You will have to read The American Heiress. If you love a good story with a lot of heart, you have to read this one!
The American Heiress
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Be careful what you wish for. Traveling abroad with her mother at the turn of the twentieth century to seek a titled husband, beautiful, vivacious Cora Cash, whose family mansion in Newport dwarfs the Vanderbilts’, suddenly finds herself Duchess of Wareham, married to Ivo, the most eligible bachelor in England. Nothing is quite as it seems, however: Ivo is withdrawn and secretive, and the English social scene is full of traps and betrayals. Money, Cora soon learns, cannot buy everything, as she must decide what is truly worth the price in her life and her marriage.
Witty, moving, and brilliantly entertaining, Cora’s story marks the debut of a glorious storyteller who brings a fresh new spirit to the world of Edith Wharton and Henry James.
Interview with Daisy Goodwin
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up in London. I went to Cambridge University where I studied history and then I went to Columbia Film School in New York. I have been a TV producer most of my adult life. I have been married to the same long suffering man for 23 years and I have two daughters, 20 and ten. Big gap, I know, but at least I don’t have to pay for a baby sitter.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I had always wanted to write a novel but never thought I could. And then one day I just sat down and it came pouring out. I was forty five at the time, so it is never too late.
How do you create your characters?
I was always a bit dubious when I read writers saying that their characters wrote themselves. But now I have actually written a book I realise it’s true. My characters, particularly Cora, just went their own sweet way. I had a plot all worked out which I simply had to abandon because the characters just wouldn’t do what I told them to.
What inspires you to write?
I spend all day making TV programmes where I am constantly telling people what to do, or being told that something isn’t in the budget. There is no greater pleasure than sitting down at my computer and doing whatever I like with my characters. it is pure bliss.
What do you like to read?
Everything. I read different things at different times. Jane Austen is always within reach when I need a boost. Poetry is essential, a great poem can completely change the way you look at things. I love history. Am currently reading The
World on Fire by Amanda Foreman about the Civil War, which is tremendous.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
The only way to write a book is to sit down every day and put some words onto paper. If you write 500 words a day for a year you will have a decent length book at the end of it. Don’t spend too much time agonising over it, trust to your subconscious and it will all come pouring out. I never know what I am going to write until I am actually at the keyboard but I am sure that at some level it is all going on. And read lots of good stuff, it will help.
Oh and never underestimate the power of a good story. Lyrical prose is great but you have to make the reader want to turn the page.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I have a great software programme called Storymill which makes a clapping noise when I get to the end of my word count for the day. It’s a bit childish but I find it spurs me on.
Oh and don’t expect your significant other to read your work. They will be terrified to read it in case they don’t like it.