Sometimes you want a novel to do more than tell a story. You want it to mix a dashing male lead who pays homage to Jane Austen's characters with a spunky heroine who conjures memories of Scarlett O'Hara and dramatic settings in the tradition of the Sherlock Holmes stories. Oh yes - and you want the said novel to be an easy, light read with a pace that can keep up with its lively characters. You want something that doesn't require a lot of effort or thought, but provides a great deal of drama and sass. When you're in such a mood, Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress (titled My Last Duchess in the U.K.) fits the bill.
Pieces of this debut novel from Daisy Goodwin remind me of the young adult novels I enjoyed as a preteen: the Journey to America series, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi, and even The Swiss Family Robinson. These stories are all written in a linear, plot-...
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