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The Traitor's Wife: A Novel

The Traitor's Wife: A Novel

Написано Allison Pataki

Озвучено Madeleine Maby


The Traitor's Wife: A Novel

Написано Allison Pataki

Озвучено Madeleine Maby

оценки:
4/5 (30 оценки)
Длина:
16 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 29, 2014
ISBN:
9781442375031
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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Описание

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.
Издатель:
Издано:
Apr 29, 2014
ISBN:
9781442375031
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Также доступно как...

Также доступно как книгеКниге


Об авторе

Allison Pataki is the New York Times bestselling author of five adult fiction novels, one nonfiction memoir, and two children’s books, Nelly Takes New York and Poppy Takes Paris. Allison’s books have been translated into more than twenty languages. A former news writer and producer, Allison graduated cum laude from Yale University with a major in English. An avid traveler and reader, Allison lives in New York with her husband, children, and rescue pup. To learn more and connect with Allison, please visit AllisonPataki.com.

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3.8
30 оценки / 10 Обзоры
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Отзывы читателей

  • (5/5)
    This is a wonderful book that weaves fact and fiction together. I used to read Ann Rinaldi books when I was growing up, so I was aware of the marriage between Peggy Shippen and Benedict Arnold. I knew Peggy was a very beautiful woman and also quite manipulative. John Andre also strikes me as a very charismatic man who knew how to work his way around Peggy and also knew when to leave. Unfortunately for Benedict Arnold, I never got the feeling that he truly knew he was a puppet in Peggy's hands.

    The upstairs/downstairs life feels very realistic. The servants are seen as mere servants, practically invisible. But they have ears, eyes, and mouths like everyone else. Clara is one willing to take action. Even though Clara is a fictional character, I hope someone in the true Arnold household played a role in helping the Patriot cause.
  • (1/5)
    An American hero turns traitor with the encouragement of his wife. An exciting premise, but with thinly drawn characters, it didn't make for a very exciting story.Peggy's portrayal was a caricature of a selfish young woman, her only concern in life the acquiring of fine goods.Benedict Arnold was painted a bit more sympathetically, but still shallowly. He was a pretty nice guy who lacked the ability to say 'no' to his wife. I'd really been hoping to see more inner conflict from him.John Andre who in reality charmed soldiers on both sides was not charming here.The main character Clara was generically nice and spent most of the book moping over one thing or another. First it was over how she parted with Cal, then it was because she felt Cal was unreasonable in expecting her to be able to stop the Arnolds' plot. This latter cause of moping particularly annoyed me since, in a ridiculous turn in this version of events, Clara actually facilitated the Arnolds' betrayal. I never cared about Clara, so it didn't matter to me what happened to her.The numerous reminders that Barley was a dog were unnecessary, but I was happy for the ending he got.I was also happy to read the author's notes at the end of the book, but it probably won't be enough to get me to try any of her other novels.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting, information about a period in history about which I know only a bit. Somewhat predictable, but not terribly so.
  • (5/5)
    "If you can't break the rules you might as well seduce the man who makes them."This is a historical fiction about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the wife of Benedict Arnold. Americans all know Benedict Arnold as a traitor but this book covers Peggy's possible roll in what happened. As I haven't read much historical fiction set during the Revolutionary War this was a bit of a new experience for me and after having read this book I am looking forward to reading more historical fiction set in this time period.Reading this caused me to be the closest I have ever been to smashing my Kindle to pieces, but not because it was boring or badly written but because Peggy Shippen Arnold was such a bitch. Oh man I can usually take bitchiness up to a certain point but Peggy was just so frustratingly bitchy. Every time she was mentioned as or called Miss Peggy I read it as "Miss Piggy." She definitely reminded me of Scarlett O'Hara from Gone With the Wind.I just loved reading this book from Clara's (Peggy's maid) point-of-view. I really connected with Clara and felt horrible for her that she had to always deal with Peggy. I feared that she would always let Peggy push her around and I really enjoyed seeing how Clara deals with everything at the end.Allison Pataki includes a historical note at the end explaining more about the facts of the events and showing how she stayed true to those facts and where she sometimes differed from the facts a bit. As a historical fiction book this managed to be based off of history and stay mostly true to the facts while still being an interesting read.
  • (5/5)
    I really knew nothing about Benedict Arnold, other than that he was a traitor. I even thought he had been hanged as a traitor. I knew nothing about the plot he was involved in. There has been quite a few books out lately about the women behind the famous men. I have really enjoyed each one I have read. That is why I was so interested in this particular book. Well, it did NOT disappoint. It has history, suspense, intrigue, and romance. The amount of research Allison Pataki put into this book is amazing. She did a lot of "filling in the blanks". There is a section in the back of the book that explains what portions of the story are fact, and which she made up to enhance to the story.The story is told from the perspective of Clara, Mrs. Arnold's lady's maid. Peggy Shippen Arnold is horribly spoiled. My mother would have called her a real brat and tanned her bottom several times. But she was her father's favorite child. She managed to charm pretty much any man she came into contact with. Clara is there to always wait on Peggy -- dressing her, doing her hair, bringing her food, putting up with her temper tantrums. At first John Andrè is her target for enhancing her social standing. Some of her behavior is quite scandalous for the times. But being a British officer, he is soon reassigned to New York. So Peggy then sets her sights on General Arnold. He falls totally for her flattery and she soon becomes his wife. Through him, she can see herself moving up in status -- a splendid home and a title (a sign of power). Yet Peggy is still a supporter of the British. Arnold is a well-respected soldier until he becomes immersed in black-market trading. Poor Clara seems to be considered invisible as Peggy and "Benny" discuss their traitorous plans in her presence. Clara is in quite a quandary as she knows what they are up to, but how can she stop it? Who would believe her over the word of the General? She turns to her beau Cal who is in the colonial army. I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
  • (4/5)
    Every American school child knows the name Benedict Arnold is synonymous with treason. What I didn't know is just how much of an American hero he was before he became “that” Benedict Arnold. He was involved in key Revolutionary War battles at Fort Ticonderoga and in Quebec as proof of his service to his new country. He was a man who was committed to the Revolutionary effort early in the conflict. He led the offensive at the battle of Saratoga against his senior officer’s orders and was shot multiple times. He paid his men out of his personal fortune when the government couldn’t. If he had died during this period he would be revered as a gold-plated American hero.

    What led him to become a traitor? The author puts forward a theory that it may have been related to his vivacious and manipulative wife, Peggy. Peggy Shippen Arnold didn't have much of a noble character as she can be summed up as a spoiled brat. She only wanted to attend parties and wear beautiful dresses , and collect handsome, wealthy suitors. Her only loyalty was to herself. She doesn't care if her admirers were the British or the Colonials, as long as they are fawning all over her and she is the belle of Philadelphia.

    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 is a British Loyalist. 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 lover 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.

    The story is quite engaging because of the historical detail and the fictitious characters the author creates. Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, Clara, 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 that could have destroyed the fledgling nation.
  • (4/5)
    When studying the American Revolutionary War in history class, the names George Washington and Benedict Arnold are of the most recognizable. After so many history classes, the information was always the same names, details, dates, and so on. Not once have I heard a mention about Benedict Arnold’s wife or really anyone’s wives in length. Peggy Shippen Arnold was a partner in his treason, something I would have loved to discuss in history rather than just being told he was a traitor and that was that. There’s always a whole other story behind famous men’s lives and the choices that wives most likely shaped one way or another. The portrayal of Peggy was of a very spoiled and also very cunning woman. She always had her way with men, in particular with Benedict Arnold and John Andre. Peggy was a woman that most women would not have really liked because usually women can see through each other’s charms (crap), I’ll put it that way. I don’t have anything to compare to this version of Peggy, but I would expect such a spoiled, pretentious attitude from a well-off woman of the time period.When it comes to Benedict Arnold, I did feel something along the lines of pity. He got what he deserved because he was a traitor, but backstories usually give people good intentions. His good intentions were to provide the never satisfied Peggy the extravagant lifestyle she wanted more than anything, more than him. I have to mention, although, the book was told in the perspective of a maid named Clara. I didn’t know the fact when I bought the book because the synopsis made no mention her, so I was surprised. This book was a long read, but I believe it was worth every minute.
  • (4/5)
    I chose The Traitor’s Wife by Allison Pataki because it was right before July 4th and I thought an audiobook with roots deep in America’s fight for freedom would be a great way to celebrate. I had seen Pataki on a morning news show and was impressed by her and intrigued with her subject matter — Peggy Shippen Arnold, wife of the infamous Benedict Arnold. It turned out to be an excellent choice. Well-researched and well-written, I found the events and people of this novel to be an eye-opening and educational experience. The novel is great fun too!Peggy Shippen Arnold was instrumental in her husband’s treason. Her character is never sympathetic. In fact you will love to hate her. Arnold is presented somewhat sympathetically, but his greed, weakness and selfishness keep him from being really likable. So how do you write a novel that has as its main characters two of the most unpleasant and unappealing people of the Revolution? You tell their story from the point of view of the quiet, unassuming, yet courageous ladies maid, Clara Bell. It is Clara’s life, struggles and triumph that the reader cheers for. The audiobook is well-read as well.Great for fans of historical novels, The Traitor’s Wife gives an inside look into the politics and culture of the American colonies while shedding light on the intrigue that gave our language a depiction of a turncoat — Benedict Arnold.Recommended.Great for Book Clubs.Audience: Adults
  • (5/5)
    What a riveting, suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining novel! When I approach a historical novel of this magnitude, I usually read the author’s notes on the research that sometimes details which characters are from reality and those which are purely fiction. One reason I do that is so as I am reading, I can savor the richness of both the history shared along with the imagination of the writer. While I remember that Benedict Arnold was a traitor who was willing to hand over West Point to the British, there is more to the facts than I recalled.Another reason I read the notes first is to attempt to glean the depth of the story based on the length the writer goes to in order to unearth fact. Finally, the last reason I read the back first is to see if there are other notable books I might desire to obtain on the subject matter. What Allison Pataki writes in the back is for the audience to read on their own time the knowledge and sources shared by Allison.While many may approach this tale with more knowledge than I or less will in no way make the reading of the book less enjoyable. I spent hours just turning pages, trying to imagine what life was like in the past for both the servants and those of means. What was it like to have war on this soil in this country that I love with all my heart? What would it be like to be the maid in service of a self-absorbed woman who cared only for herself and not a whit about the men she claimed to love or the cost of freedom?Part of the novel was just entrancing as I felt like an observer watching the main antagonist work cunningly to maneuver people to do the bidding necessary to bring to her what she wanted without care of family or friends. Then, I would come upon a scene and realize just how far removed the servants were thought to be from their masters and the many things they observed, heard or witnessed. Servants were treated as if they were property or merely shadows to do the master’s bidding. In this tale, Clara, the maid servant is becoming entangled in the treachery of her mistress.The ending of the novel is bittersweet. For a debut novel, this author truly did her homework and took painstaking time paying attention to details of all different sorts related to this period of history. The details help the audience picture in their minds the setting and mannerisms of the era. It would indeed be a shame if anyone passed up reading a wonderful novel that reminds us all of how our choices not only affect the moment, but can have rippling consequences decades down the road.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    If I were reviewing this as an ebook I would give it 4.5 stars, but the narrator was so ridiculously absurd with her unnecessary pauses between each word trying to be emphatic when it wasn't required made trying to enjoy a good story impossible. I had to just stop the book from time to time and go back at a later date. It became unbearably annoying to try to listen to for long periods of time. I finally gave up and learned the rest of what happened from Wikipedia. I've never had a narrator completely ruin a book for me before.

    1 person found this helpful