Wednesday, February 27, 2019

TLC Book Tours Review: American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt by Karen Harper

Title: American Duchess: A Novel of Consuelo Vanderbilt
Author: Karen Harper
Format: ARC
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publish Date: February 26, 2019 (Yesterday!)
Source: TLC Book Tours and HarperCollins

What's the Story?:

From "On a cold November day in 1895, a carriage approaches St Thomas Episcopal Church on New York City’s Fifth Avenue. Massive crowds surge forward, awaiting their glimpse of heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt. Just 18, the beautiful bride has not only arrived late, but in tears, yet her marriage to the aloof Duke of Marlborough proceeds. Bullied into the wedding by her indomitable mother, Alva, Consuelo loves another. But a deal was made, trading some of the vast Vanderbilt wealth for a title and prestige, and Consuelo, bred to obey, realizes she must make the best of things.

At Blenheim Palace, Consuelo is confronted with an overwhelming list of duties, including producing an “heir and a spare,” but her relationship with the duke quickly disintegrates. Consuelo finds an inner strength, charming everyone from debutantes to diplomats including Winston Churchill, as she fights for women’s suffrage. And when she takes a scandalous leap, can she hope to attain love at last…?"

My Two Cents:

"American Duchess" is the fascinating story of Consuelo Vanderbilt of the American Vanderbilts (yes, those ones!) who already lives a fairy tale life in the United States as part of one of the storied families of the Gilded Age. When she marries the Duke of Marlborough, her star rises even higher on both sides of the Atlantic. But this rise also feels more like a gilded cage than a gilded opportunity and Consuelo will have to work hard to cut out the life that she desires for herself. 

Consuelo is a great character and I love that the story was told from her perspective. This really brought me into the story and made me care for Consuelo as a person. I had heard a little bit about her before reading this book but it was great to get more detail about her life. I thought the author did a really good job of balancing detail in the book but I wanted more. 

I really enjoyed this book. The writing was good but there were definitely places where I wish there would have been some greater detail. It felt like we were only getting a taste of some of the subjects that could have used a little more investigation. This book was still satisfying but I definitely would love to read more about Consuelo in the future!


  1. Thank you for being on this tour!

    Sara @ TLC Book Tours

  2. This sounds like a great read.

  3. Did you read A Well-Behaved Woman? It is fiction about Consuela's mother, Ava. I enjoyed it.

  4. I think I would enjoy this book as Consuela, her husband the Duke, Winston Churchill, etc. are interesting to me.


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