"The American Heiress" Book and Tea Club
Any thoughts about our next book?
you guys! hahaha… i havent even caught my breath from finishing this one
afraid i cant join you anymore after this. no more access to extensive library for one. but i could try if the book could be read online for free :)
im sure whatever you guys choose will be a good read :D
Are you back home Yssah? There are so many books online for free! : D And, there is a wonderful site where you can download audio books for free! Here it is:http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/
I don’t want anyone to feel left out due to lack of access to books or for financial reasons.
aw, that’s so sweet of you Serenity! i would love to join you in the next book if i could..will definitely try…it has been fun :)
will be leaving on the 24th and getting there on the 26th (going forward in time for the journey back)
Anyone think the cover of the book was Cora in her “altered wedding dress”? From the description within the book, I would imagine it to look like the cover.
Another point, anyone found it interesting (about midway in the book) when Cora was going to have a painting done of her and the painter said he would paint who she was and not what she was? I found this quite interesting because Cora and the Duke just finished having an argument one or two chapters back about not being able to buy everything.
I never considered that was her wedding dress on the cover, but you are probably right. I’ll admit that I have a thing for pretty book covers, and I loved this one!
That’s a good point. Art really played a huge a big part in the novel, eh? Her painting, the Madonna in the chapel, etc. Art that can’t be replaced, art that symbolizes how much wealth nobility has lost, and art that can’t be bought. Also the two artists in the story were important because the famous dude nearly destroyed Cora’s reputation and angered the Duke, while Teddy was a temptation to steal her away. So many traps.
(Oh man, why did she have the party to unveil the painting? She could have thrown it after she saw it, couldn’t she?)
Art represents status. And I thought Cora should have listened to Bertha about the painting. Why did Cora feel the need to throw a dinner party to reveal the painting? Just like in the Duchesses tattoo, Cora jumps to do things to propell her up in society amd ultimately to impress her Mother.
Hmmmm…I still dont get why the Duke was not pleased when she replaced the lost painting…
I wonder if it’s because hurt the Duke’s pride. He didnt seem happy to be dependent on his wife’s money.
Oh, I’m loving all the conversation threads about the book!
Regarding why the Duke was so displeased when Cora replaced the lost painting: Cora came from a world where money buys things, status, etc. The Duke comes from a world, a culture, where talking about money is not acceptable. It’s old money vs new money. Things are not bought, such as furniture, and art: they are inherited. All those old money families in England at that time were struggling to keep hold of their estates, it was a way of life that was dying out. So, the families would discretely sell things such as art. It was a blow to them to do this. Then wealthy Americans would blithely buy things up and see no reason to show it off, perhaps not meaning to flaunt, but that is how it would be construed. In Downton Abbey, no, I won’t give two examples I wanted to just in case people have not seen certain episodes. But, this theme is explored within that show.
Cora bought that beautiful painting for the chapel but it was the Duke’s friends’ painting, that they’d had to sell. So, he was horrified. It just wasn’t done to have his old friends’ painting like that.
That’s my take and I’m hoping I’m referring to the correct scene, and not going off on an unrelated tangent. I don’t have the book in front of me at the moment.
ohhhhhhh….i get it! i thought there was something about the painting that reminded him of something bad ^^’
@Serenity: I agree totally! The Duke vs Cora (in terms of how they handled money) really reminded me of the relationship between Bess and her husband in The Other Queen. Old money vs new money: the new money usually calculates everything, no matter how extravagant their purchases are it’s still kept track of. Old money considers it almost dirty to talk about and certainly unladylike.
I’m sure this is pretty frivolous, but my favorite aspect of the book was… the clothing! There were so many lush descriptions of what everyone wore, it really took me into the time period. And it was not all just fluff: the outfit that stands out to me the most was Charlotte’s red dress with the wasps and scorpions. It’s interesting that something as simple as clothing can be used as a characterization device.
Clothing was also very important to Bertha and Cora’s relationship: Bertha got her “used” dresses (which I am sure means worn twice), so imagine being a servant and being allowed to wear dresses worth hundreds or thousands of dollars! Cora had no reason to do this, really, she could have easily sold them or donated them to another up and coming society girl with less money. It seemed like a gesture of trust, that she’d allow a “mere” servant to wear her own clothing.
I liked the clothing descriptions throughout the book too, especially of Cora’s wedding attire.
I was happy that Bertha got Cora’s old clothing but I really disliked how Bertha ‘took’ Cora’s gloves and other extra items that wouldn’t be missed. I felt like it was opposite of Bertha’s sweet loyalty towards Cora that she was actually stealing from her. I understand that Cora had all the money in the world and wouldn’t miss those items but it still just made me uneasy that she was essentially stealing from her.
I felt like the stealing wasn’t necessarily a bad character trait—like if she didn’t desperately need the money, I don’t think Bertha would have been a thief. It gave her some negative aspects, but I felt like it showed 1) how devoted she was to her mother (that she’d steal for her) and 2) how decadent Cora’s lifestyle was that she didn’t miss any of these things.
I would have to agree with you on this Alphakitty. The clothing and descriptions though the book were outstanding. I think the author did an excellent job of painting a picture for the reader. I felt like I was right there in the book looking at the paintings, characters, or clothing articles. Beautiful setting the author gave us all.
So there’s been one book suggested for our next read – Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima. Any other suggestions? :)
Maybe the Historian by Elizabeth Kostovo? Not sure of the tea connection, but I’ve heard good things.
Or Memoirs of a Geisha as was suggested last time? (Cherry Blossom tea?)
Well, I didn’t mind this book and I wouldn’t mind reading another book like that.
I’m excited about Spring Snow – it sounds really good. I don’t see an ebook version of it though, so if we go this route it may take me a week or so to order a copy in!
The Wet Nurse’s Tale by Erica Eisdorfer is the book I mentioned earlier that I give a big thumbs up: http://www.amazon.com/Wet-Nurses-Tale-Erica-Eisdorfer/dp/B004KABHOE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363653682&sr=1-1&keywords=the+wet+nurse%27s+tale+by+erica+eisdorfer
This doesn’t need to be a recommendation for our next book, just a general “I liked it and maybe you will too” kind of thing.
All of these books look good! Let’s give it until tomorrow (Wednesday) and then make a decision. Everyone please vote for your choice and the book with the most votes wins!