A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America's most infamous act of treason....
Everyone knows Benedict Arnold - the Revolutionary War general who betrayed America and fled to the British - as history's most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold's co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold's documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot: A charming young woman who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.
Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold's age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride's beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: Loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.
Told from the perspective of Peggy's maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress's affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor's Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.
©2014 Allison Pataki (P)2014 Simon & Schuster
"Is this a bad elementary school play?"
This story started out briskly enough, and the subject matter was interesting. I also enjoyed that it was coming from the perspective of the maid, as I expected sort of an an "Upstairs, Downstairs" feel. The first road bumps happened with the introduction of the Shippens. The stilted, uneducated dialogue combined with the cardboard cut out characters brought me back to the days of watching awkward, albeit enthusiastic, grade school dramatizations. I appreciate that the story was well researched, yet have trouble reconciling that with the naive story telling. Nothing had a colonial period feel, except for the extensive detail given to the clothing. Clara as a character was more fully fleshed out than any other, yet the reader is still left to imagine how she leapt from timid subservient, to history changing revolutionary, as there is so little growth in this direction. The audio edition is even worse. I played it at book club, and there were accusations of the voice being a computer auto read feature, as it is so stilted and halting. And the awkward impersonations brought me back, again, to an elementary school auditorium. While fun to brush up on my dusty American History, this historical fiction novel proved very disappointing.
"Easy to listen to"
Good book. Romance type with embellished historical facts. Good for mindless entertainment....
Can't say any more to this but need more wirds
"Good Histoical Fiction"
The story of Benedict Arnold's decision to betray the Americans and most notably George Washington showing the influence his wife Peggy Shippen, who valued things and status, had on his decision to give his support to the English for money and status. Well written and a fair depiction of the conditions in the colonies.
"Not great literature!"
Very 'harlequin romance' writing - built around historical figures and events. I was reading it for my Book Club and so really needed to read all of it - the best moment was when I finished the book.
"Narration is horrible"
Very interesting twist on the life of Benedict Arnold.
The narrator did a horrible job of portraying the male characters in the book, her voice was not deep enough, and often failed to convey when man was speaking. Most especially her depiction of Benedict Arnold is purely awful. Why does she portray him as a man with a stutter? She depicts all of his speech as halting, and she actually does this with several of the characters. It is believable that this man was absolutely entranced by his wife, and catered to her every whim, but in real life he was a well respected General in the Revolutionary Army, he commanded the respect of many people before becoming a traitor. He was not a wimpy shrinking violet that this voice of narration makes him out to be.
Reading the kindle edition was a 5 star experience, listening to the audible edition was a 2 star experience.
"Mediocre at best"
No. It was interesting to learn more about Benedict Arnold but the story over all was simplistic and not very interesting.
The fictionalized account of Benedict Arnold's wife from the point of view of a maid who I believe was also fictional was not particularly believable or interesting.
I am not familiar with the narrator. She did an acceptable job with the material that she had.
It was OK - as I said - mediocre at best. My recommendation would be to spend your credit on something else.
"Fabulous book - reader needs constructive feedback"
ENGROSSING SLICE of HISTORY
When she performed the voices of the characters she spoke so slowly as if she were talking to a child in kindergarten. By the end of the book, it became extremely distracting and annoying especially since it was pronounced when the main character, Clara, spoke.
It was such a fabulous book that is was sad the reader detracted from my enjoyment of it. I think she has the potential to be an excellent reader if someone would just coach her a bit and give her some constructive feedback.
"not for me"
if I want beach reading it won t be about b.arnold s wife. written for a 13 year old.
"Love her books"
Never read the book
Of course the main character....
Yes....I didn't want to quit listening!
I love this narrator.....and the author as well.
The first part of book seemed slow but it gained momentum and gave me another perspective on Benedict Arnold. We really wanted to finish it.
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