Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Traitor's Wife By Allison Pataki

I received this book from Howard Books for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

 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 AndrĂ©, 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 AndrĂ©. 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.

My Thoughts: 

The Traitor's Wife is Allison Pataki's debut novel and it's a great one.  This historical novel tells the story of Peggy Shippen Arnold, Benedict Arnold's wife from the viewpoint of Clara Belle, Peggy's maid, who had been employed by Peggy's family since childhood.  Peggy Shippen Arnold is a socialite who finds her way into Benedict Arnold's heart and mind while he was a military commander of Philadelphia.  Blind to his bride's motives, he doesn't realize that she has her own agenda, loyalty to the British, especially a past relationship with a British spy, John Andre'. As Arnold loses his faith in his hero, George Washington and the American cause, Peggy convinces him to go along with her plot to deliver West Point to the British in exchange for fame and fortune.  What Peggy doesn't count on is her maid, Clara has put her faith in America and she intervenes in her mistress's plans, not caring the cost. 
The Traitor's Wife is another debut novel I have had the pleasure of reading. I love debut novel and Historical Fiction novels so this one was a no brainer for me.  As a huge fan of both I was excited to read this book.  Allison Pataki writes with authority on the historical facts of Benedict Arnold, history of Britain and America, and this time period in general.  I found myself captivated with fact and fiction of this book.  I found myself unable to put this book down, truly kept me going up to the end. I loved the characters in this book but Clara Belle was my favorite. Her bravery was inspired.  I enjoyed learning more about this time in history and all the players in Benedict Arnold's life. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction. You will not be disappointed. I look forward to what Allison Pataki has in store next. I give this book 4 STARS. 

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