American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt

Karen Harper – 4/5 Stars

Read this if you:
· want the inside scoop on your favourite political figures
· love the glitz and glam of old money but love even more when people use it for good
· enjoy reading about the progression of history through one person’s perspective

Consuelo Vanderbilt was one of many “Dollar Princesses” – American heiresses who married into the British aristocracy for an increase in social status. This marriage was arranged by her mother and resulted in a years-long separation before she could finally divorce the Duke of Marlborough and begin her new life of independence. This book follows Consuelo’s life from courting to marriage, divorce, and finally the freedom to be with the one she loves.

My thoughts on the book: 
Consuelo Vanderbilt is such a badass! Though she struggled to stand up to her mother, she otherwise did what she wanted and didn’t care who she upset in the process. I obviously loved reading about the trips on their yacht and the incredible balls they attended but was also so inspired by how hard Consuelo worked to help those around her, whether in her dukedom or in other cities they were visiting.
I spent most of this book STARSTRUCK! I have an embarrassing obsession with Winston Churchill and reading about him growing up and becoming Prime Minister through his interactions with Consuelo was probably my favourite part of this book. There were also so many other historical figures and events included in this book that I really enjoyed reading about from this fresh perspective.
One thing I have come across in my own research and in reading other reviews is that this book is a little bit “fluffed up”. I personally enjoyed that there was a more exciting edge to this telling of Consuelo’s life but if you’re a hard facts person, this one might not be for you!

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