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message 1: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America 2 1/2 generous stars(rounded to 3 on my shelf)

Historical Fiction? More like Historical Fluff-disappointing. I have read about these events a number of times to know that what is told in this tale is a pile of dung!

I am not an expert, by any means, on any history, but I am a self-proclaimed history(I will use the word of the month-) Geek. And this book left me befuddled and bewildered.

The story is told through the eyes of the maid of Miss Peggy Shippen
(who eventually marries Arnold), a Philadelphia beauty who is the darling of the English Army and the paramour of John Andre the man who would eventually turn Benedict Arnold into the re known Traitor of the Colonies.

I loved Clara Bell (the maid) and her story- if this had been the only fictional piece in the book I probably would have loved it.

Peggy Shippen was portrayed in so many different lights it was hard to wrap your head around it. In one chapter she is the astute, conniving wench she truly was-in the next breath she was pouty, prone to childish tantrums. Shippen was not the only character that seemed to jump personalities like The Three Faces Of Eve!!!!

This was Allison Pataki first book, which is why I am giving her a little leeway. I think she was on the right track(with her background, I am again befuddled. What happened? An over-zealous editor/publisher perhaps). I am going to give her another chance and see if lessons were learned from this poor first attempt!

Give me HISTORY-not-FLUFF or call it what is-Fiction


message 2: by Jgrace (new)

Jgrace | 2938 comments I haven't read this one, but I got Sisi: Empress on Her Own in a giveaway. I wasn't impressed. It read like a regency romance.


message 3: by Joanne (last edited Dec 03, 2018 10:51AM) (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments Oh crap-I was going to read the first one in that series for SRC challenge....moving on and off the TBR it goes


message 4: by NancyJ (last edited Dec 03, 2018 12:41PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5567 comments Joanne wrote: "The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America 2 1/2 generous stars(rounded to 3 on my shelf)

Historical Fiction? More like Historical Fluff-di..."


Oh, that's too bad, but thanks for saving me time. I was really fascinated by Peggy and the other female spies in the TV show Turn: Washington's Spies, which I would highly recommend. I also read the source material,Washington's Spies: The Story of America's First Spy Ring. The book was quite dry, but my knowledge from the show made it easier to read.

Based on what I saw in the show, the stories of Peggy Shippen and Abigail (the maid who previously worked for Anna Strong) could each make a great book. Though apparently the show already stretched the available facts as far as they could go.

I had to admire the romance and sacrifices made by Peggy Shippen and John Andre to set up Benedict Arnold, even though they were on the other side. (These parts were really well cast in the show.) I almost felt sorry for Arnold. (view spoiler)

Regarding Peggy's personality changes, I wonder if any of us could handle the stress of her situation without the occasional meltdown. (view spoiler)


message 5: by AsimovsZeroth (last edited Dec 03, 2018 12:27PM) (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Ugh. Well, I won't be bothering with that then. As a fellow history geek, I completely agree - give me real history. Not fluff. Nothing is so maddening as historical fiction that forgets about the "historical" part.

Thanks for the review!


message 6: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments NancyJ wrote: "Joanne wrote: "The Traitor's Wife: The Woman Behind Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America 2 1/2 generous stars(rounded to 3 on my shelf)

Historical Fiction? More like Hist..."


Yes I loved the TV series too.

I agree with your thoughts on Arnold and how Peggy was the driving force. Also your thoughts on Peggy's moods-it was just way overdone in this book. And all the great thoughts you have in that last paragraph, never came to light in this book-it was like Andre was a sideshow-as I said, very disappointing.


message 7: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments LiteraryMania wrote: "Ugh. Well, I won't be bothering with that then. As a fellow history geek, I completely agree - give me real history. Not fluff. Nothing is so maddening as historical fiction that forgets about the ..."

Glad yo see you back LM-as a fellow home bound member, like you I fill a lot of my time with reading-it is good to have you back!


message 8: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Ugh. Well, I won't be bothering with that then. As a fellow history geek, I completely agree - give me real history. Not fluff. Nothing is so maddening as historical fiction t..."

Thanks for the welcome Joanne! I'd forgotten that you're a fellow hermit, but that definitely explains a few things. I was just looking at your reading challenge status and sighing with envy over your numbers. This has not been the best year for reading for me. Lots of life craziness, but I'm back and motivated to catch up! It's nice to see you've kept active in PBT. Your reviews and suggestions have added many books to my groaning shelves!


message 9: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments LiteraryMania wrote: "Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Ugh. Well, I won't be bothering with that then. As a fellow history geek, I completely agree - give me real history. Not fluff. Nothing is so maddening as histo..."

Ah, thanks-you made me smile on a day that has been physically challenging...


message 10: by NancyJ (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5567 comments Joanne wrote: "NancyJ wrote: "Joanne wrote "

In the show, and In British history I think, Andre got a lot of credit. I felt a little guilty rooting for the romance between Peggy and John Andre (because their plot was pretty evil). The actors did a great job selling that romance, and showing the subsequent heartbreak (to me anyway).

Speaking of star crossed lovers (and unpopular opinions), I always felt bad for Prince Charles and Camilla. If the queen had accepted her from the start, he never would have married a girl he didn't love. I'd like to see a story framing her as his true first love (rather than as an adulteress), but I don't think that book would sell well in the UK.


message 11: by NancyJ (last edited Dec 03, 2018 06:53PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5567 comments Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: .. home bound ...."

As a fellow home bound member, I'm really thankful for electronic books, goodreads, and groups like this. It would have been a lot more depressing in the past. I hope you both have a great week.


message 12: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Ugh. Well, I won't be bothering with that then. As a fellow history geek, I completely agree - give me real history. Not fluff. Nothing is..."

I'm sorry to hear you've had a challenging day. Winter is always challenging for me, so I can relate. It's been a hard few weeks. Perhaps I can brighten your day a second time, by sharing this meme I made a few years ago. I figured I'm always making variations of this joke anyway, so I might as well slap it on an image and share it.

Brace Yourselves...


message 13: by AsimovsZeroth (new)

AsimovsZeroth (asimovszerothlaw) | 436 comments NancyJ wrote: "Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: .. home bound ...."

As a fellow home bound member, I'm really thankful for electronic books, goodreads, and groups like this. It would have been a lot more depr..."


I hope you have a good week too Nancy! I absolutely agree with you on the importance of online communities like goodreads that keep our minds engaged and ebooks. I would be lost in the winter without my nook. Sometimes it's the only thing I can hold, but it's improved my quality of life greatly.


message 14: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments NancyJ wrote: "Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: .. home bound ...."

As a fellow home bound member, I'm really thankful for electronic books, goodreads, and groups like this. It would have been a lot more depr..."


Thank you Nancy-today is better, but unfortunately it has to be spent grocery shopping-*bleah*


message 15: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7862 comments LiteraryMania wrote: "Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Joanne wrote: "LiteraryMania wrote: "Ugh. Well, I won't be bothering with that then. As a fellow history geek, I completely agree - give me real history. Not fl..."

Thanks for sharing that I make jokes about myself all the time, helps to keep laughing-yes winter is always the worst-here in Michigan it has been worse than normal, wet AND cold-and although it has dried up today and am feeling a little better, I have to get to the store while I can....add having to take my husband along to drive and haul, well I cold think of better ways to spend the days when I feel semi-good
🤣


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