Friday, August 17, 2012


American Heiress Cora Cash, by all accounts the richest girl in the world, is determined to marry for love.  When the man she wants to marry turns her down and a horrific accident leaves her mother scarred, Cora gives in to her mother’s wishes and travels to England to find an aristocratic husband.  When Cora, literally, falls for Duke Ivo Maltevers, the English and American rumour mills go into a frenzy.  Ivo is titled, handsome and intriguing, but his mother’s squandering his dimmed his fortune significantly, and his family home is in desperate need of repair; Does Ivo wish to marry Cora because he loves her, or because he loves her money?

Entering a world she doesn’t understand, where she is no longer the most beautiful or the most popular, surrounded by conversation she feels is designed to keep her out of the loop, Cora questions this new life that looms over her.  Not knowing whose intentions are pure and who she can trust, and doubts assailing Cora’s heart, we follow her journey as she navigates the deceitful world of 1800's English aristocracy.

My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin is not at all what I had expected.  I expected to read a soft, light love story, but this book turned out to be quite the mystery!  Nothing you read is quite what it seems, and Goodwin keeps you guessing until the very end. 

I did not particularly enjoy reading this book, only because I found it very frustrating determining where everyone stood.  I felt that the focus of the book too often shifted to minor characters, such as Cora’s lady’s maid, and it didn’t really add to the story for me.  Cora’s ignorance and naivety frequently got on my nerves; I’m quite gullible myself at times, but I am sure even I would have noticed some of the things that Cora overlooked.  Cora Cash is not necessarily a very likable character, but she tries her best and at times I felt truly sorry for her.  Weighed down by doubt Cora loses her shine, and the helpless depression she feels when she can’t say for certain how Ivo feels about her, soon became my own.  At times this book really bummed me out – the sign of a good book: it makes you feel.

At the end of the day, My Last Duchess is quite unlike anything else I’ve ever read.  Goodwin wrapped the story up to a certain extent, but she left the door wide open for a sequel.  I would have liked to have complete clarity a little sooner in the book than the very end, but if we are to expect a sequel (no confirmation just yet), I would definitely enjoy reading the story on more solid footing from here on out.  

Product information:
Title: My last duchess

Author: Daisy Goodwin

Number of pages: 468
Publisher: Headline Review
Year: 2011
ISBN-10: 0755348087
ISBN-13: 978-0755348084 

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