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American Duchess

por Karen Harper

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
18322113,691 (3.7)6
Before there was Meghan Markle, there was Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American Duchess.  Perfect for readers of Jennifer Robson and lovers of Downton Abbey. 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.  … (mais)
  1. 10
    The Buccaneers por Edith Wharton (Cariola)
    Cariola: Novel based on the American "Dollar Brides," including Consuelo Vanderbilt.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This is the fictional story, based on a few facts, about Consuelo Vanderbilt who was married to the Duke of Marlborough at a very young age. The Duke needed the Vanderbilt money in order to save his family estate. Consuelo's mother wanted a title for her daughter. There was no love in this marriage. Though she bore the Duke two son, the marriage ended in divorce.

It is an interesting take on the facts. I liked the first half of the book but the second half dragged until the story reached WWII. I felt in the later part of the book events of the time and Consuelo's life got glossed over. It felt like the author got tired of writing about her life and just rushed to the end.

I wish I could have give this 3.5 stars. It was not good enough to be four and yet not average enough to warrant three stars. In the end, I decided on four because it was not the technical part of the writing that warranted my feelings on this book but more of the feeling about the story as a whole.

This book would be a good choice for a historical fiction book club. Just talking about feminism could take an entire evening. ( )
  purpledog | Feb 23, 2021 |
An enjoyable fictionalized account of the life of Consuelo Vanderbilt ( )
  LoisSusan | Dec 10, 2020 |
I read this book in huge gulps, and as I neared the end I thought nononono…..I want more! Consuelo Vanderbilt was basically sold for the title of Duchess of Marlborough, to a man she neither knew or loved.
Harper created characters that popped with life and welcomes the reader into their lives. ( )
  linda.marsheells | Jun 6, 2020 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
This is a first-person narrative based on the life of Consuelo Vanderbilt, a young American heiress known as one of the "Dollar Brides"--girls whose families paid a huge settlement to marry them off to titled Brits. Consuelo has always been a sympathetic figure with a domineering mother who forced her into a loveless marriage with "Sunny" Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough. It was well known that she was late for her wedding because her maid was trying to repair her tear-stained face. Harper tries to make her even more pathetic by having her leave behind a man she truly loved. The novel details her difficult marriage, childbirth, separation and later divorce; her remarriage and her philanthropic work; her friendship with Winston Churchill, Sunny's cousin; and her difficult but sometimes surprising relationship with her mother. Hers becomes a typical story of the weak woman who finds true love and her own voice.

One of the things I missed hearing more about was Consuelo's part in the restoration of Blenheim Palace, the Marlborouogh family estate. I've heard bits and pieces in tours of both Blenheim and, here in America, Biltmore, but Harper makes this strictly Sunny's project. While it's true that Vanderbilt money funded the restoration, Consuelo was instrumental in the choices made, but here she focuses on charity work for the locals instead. I assume the author felt this would be a better set-up for her eventual founding of a children's hospital as well as her departure from Blenheim.

It took me a long time to get through this book, not because it was bad, but because other, more interesting books kept grabbing me. If you like happily-ever-after endings for oppressed heroines, you will enjoy American Duchess. ( )
  Cariola | Jul 17, 2019 |
A novel - a historical life. ( )
  siri51 | Jul 14, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 22 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
This book had me hooked. If you have some great stories like this one, you can publish it on Novel Star, just submit your story to hardy@novelstar.top or joye@novelstar.top
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Before there was Meghan Markle, there was Consuelo Vanderbilt, the original American Duchess.  Perfect for readers of Jennifer Robson and lovers of Downton Abbey. 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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