Customer Reviews for

The Traitor's Wife

Average Rating 4.5
( 42 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

9 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

I remember reading about Benedict Arnold in high school and all

I remember reading about Benedict Arnold in high school and all I can remember even now was that he was a traitor to this country. I had forgotten the circumstances surrounding the details of his betrayal to this country during the American Revolution as we were fightin...
I remember reading about Benedict Arnold in high school and all I can remember even now was that he was a traitor to this country. I had forgotten the circumstances surrounding the details of his betrayal to this country during the American Revolution as we were fighting the British to declare our freedom from King George. What's even more remarkable is the novel from author Allison Pataki that takes all her research into the events surrounding Benedict Arnold and George Washington and filling in the rest with some amazing insight as told from the lady's maid perspective to Margaret Stippen-Arnold, Benedict's wife.

In this novel, we meet Clara Bell who is arriving at the Shippen household to serve as a lady's maid for the two daughters of Judge Stippen, Margaret, the youngest, and Betsy who is engaged to be married. Only Margaret, also known as Peggy believes that since Betsy is already engaged, she doesn't need the help to prepare for social outings as much as she does and commands that Clara work exclusively for her needs. Betsy doesn't seem to mind much and soon Peggy is the belle of the ball. Only her rival Meg Chew is vying for the attention of the same man she is interested in John Andrè, who likes playing them both against each other.

But Peggy believes she has the advantage on her side as long as she is willing to comprise some of her lady-like standards to keep Johnny interested in her much to the dismay of Clara and her parents. But when the war begins to move closer to home, and requires that John Andrè leave for the North, Peggy is heartbroken until she gains the attention of Major General Benedict Arnold who is completely captivated by this eighteen-year-old beauty. Peggy believes that in order to escape the confines of her restrictive household she will stop at nothing including attracting the attention of a man who is twice her age to get what she wants, money, power and a place above everyone else. With Benedict Arnold having closed all the stores in Philadelphia to prevent the goods that were shipped from London from being sold and the money going back to aid the King, he begins to smuggle the merchandise up North to make a tidy profit for himself.

Soon Clara finds herself in the middle of what could be considered treason but has no one to tell. She is just a servant in the household and who would believe her story over that of a decorated General and his soon to be wife. What's worse is the more Peggy tries to manipulate the situation with Arnold to gain what she believes she is due in the world, when things don't go her way, she takes her frustration out on Clara. But with no where to go if she leaves the household as a maid, she knows she must bide her time until she can find a way to help her country before she is found guilty of aiding in their treason attempts with what she knows.I received The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. Being a fan of Downton Abbey, I love how Allison chose to use the maid's perspective of the historical facts to bring this story to life in her debut novel. Interwoven beautifully into this story are the real facts about the betrayal of Arnold's service to this country as well as the role Margaret Shippen-Arnold truly played in this event. I applaud her diligence to the research it took to bring this into a masterful novel that keeps the reader both entertained and captivated by the events. There is even a discussion guide included in the back that is perfect for book clubs as well as the details and research it took in creating this novel. I easily give this novel at 5 out of 5 stars and will definitely be looking for more of Allison Pataki's novels in the future.

posted by Heart2Heart on February 11, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

not worth the price

This was really more of a romance novel than historical fiction. I was curious to read about Benedict Arnold, but this is not the book for that.

posted by 3198680 on May 9, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    I am having some difficulty understanding the rave reviews about

    I am having some difficulty understanding the rave reviews about this historical fiction novel. The key word is "fiction." Yes, Peggy was a manipulative scheming woman but is one really supposed to believe Benedict Arnold was a simpering fop? The

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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