Customer Reviews for

The Traitor's Wife

Average Rating 4
( 49 )
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(25)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 21 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

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A fine read and glimpse at colonial society in Philly during the

A fine read and glimpse at colonial society in Philly during the American Revolution.
I found anachronisms in seasonal plant descriptions, and other minor details of 18th century life.
Don't let my pedantic nature ruin a good yarn. Alice Desmond, the pioneer of histori...
A fine read and glimpse at colonial society in Philly during the American Revolution.
I found anachronisms in seasonal plant descriptions, and other minor details of 18th century life.
Don't let my pedantic nature ruin a good yarn. Alice Desmond, the pioneer of historical fiction
for young readers, would be delighted. Not enough depth in the rivalries and frustrations amongst the 
military leadership would have been instructive. Where is Thaddeus Kosciuszko, who designed the
betrayed Fortress West Point? Another book?

posted by forestguardian1 on May 19, 2014

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  • Posted February 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    11 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2014

    A very good read.

    If you like a novel with some factual history, this is the book for you. I enjoyed reading it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 26, 2014

    I am completely amazed that this is a first novel for Allison Pa

    I am completely amazed that this is a first novel for Allison Pataki. She has taken a well known story and fleshed it out into an even more intriguing tale than we have all read about in our history textbooks.




    When I think of Benedict Arnold it is often hard to fathom how he could be such a decorated war hero but in the end wind up being such a traitor to the country he fought so hard to defend. In The Traitor's Wife some of that mystery is revealed. Through the eyes of Clara, the trusted maid to Mrs. Peggy Arnold, we see just how much power a beloved wife can have over her husband.




    Peggy is a very complex woman. On the outside she is very beautiful and alluring and knows exactly how to turn a head. On the inside she is scheming and deceitful and always plotting how to come out on top. The name Benedict Arnold may be synonymous with traitor, but the name of Peggy Arnold should hold equal weight.




    For all lovers of historical fiction, this book is going to be a great delight. It is my hope that Ms. Pataki will continue to use her incredible talent to bring to light many more of our history's infamous characters and those that worked right along side them.




    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Allison Pataki in her new book, ¿The Traitor¿s Wife¿ published b

    Allison Pataki in her new book, “The Traitor’s Wife” published by Howard Books brings us the woman behind Benedict Arnold and the plan to betray America.




    From the back cover:    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 André, 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 André. 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.




    Behind every traitor is a devilish woman.  Say the name Benedict Arnold and immediately the word traitor comes to mind.  They seem to be synonymous.   Arnold was commander of West Point and, due to his wife’s manipulations, agreed to give over West Point to Major Andre and the British.  That is history.  How it all happened is fascinating and Allison Pataki has done a memorable job in bringing all the players in this true historical drama to life.  Two women, Peggy, the scheming wife, and Clara the loyal maid who gets the information to General Washington.  ”The Traitor’s Wife” is full of details that make you feel you are there and witnessing these events as they happened.  The characters are marvelous and they live and breathe on these pages.  And there is even romance.  If you want to know about a moment that could have spelled the end of America then this is the book for you.




    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2014

    Highly recommend

    We all know Benedict Arnold was a traitor but how did he come to this. This book is a fast read and interesting as told by a house servant. Allison Pataki's approach to this part of history was fascinating and I hope she writes more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

     Blinded by beauty. Most of you are familiar with Benedict Arno

     Blinded by beauty.

    Most of you are familiar with Benedict Arnold from you studies in History class. He is known for being ihe world famous traitor.  But I bet you didn't know that his wife was his ultimate instrument in his downfall. She was much younger than Benedict and very beautiful. She saw him as her way of reaching her ultimate goal  for fame and fortune.   

    Peggy Shippen delivers her husband Benedict the plans to secure West Point into the hands of the British betraying America.  All this for her own vanity of fame and fortune.  

    Peggy's personal maid has given what she sees as the accounts and events of her mistress's plot to betray America which we know backfired on her and Benedict.  

    The book is 464 pages of Peggy's deception, greed and vanity. I had no idea this women even exsisted.   I actually felt sorry for Benedict anyone being taken in by such a she devil. Who knows how his life may have unfolded if he had not fallen into her trap. 

    I keep saying in my reviews how I love historical novels. Thanks to authors like Allison Pataki for helping me continue my education in such an enjoyable way.  The author has also provided a reading group guide with topics and questions for discussions.  Also a conversation with Allison Patiaki  of questions and answers along with a way to enhance your book  club.

    I highly recommend this book.

    Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2014

    The overall writing was captivating and alluring, nary a dull mo

    The overall writing was captivating and alluring, nary a dull moment throughout. It is evident that Allison Pataki spent countless hours researching and crafting this edge of your seat story without losing sight of the most important historical details. I found it to be an easy read and if you aren't typically a historical fiction reader but want to dip your toes into the genre, this would be a great first read for you. Allison Pataki has done an excellent job of bringing you back to the late 1700s.


    What I find fascinating about historical fiction is the fictional part of it. Yes, "The Traitor's Wife" contains an element of this and it's meant to take certain liberties and use the author's creative license. For me, it is fun discerning fact from fiction. This is how you learn and what has brought me time and again to delve deeper into the history behind each novel.

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  • Posted December 3, 2014

    I enjoyed reading this wonderful historical novel about Benedict

    I enjoyed reading this wonderful historical novel about Benedict Arnold and his wife.  I enjoy historical fiction.  Ms. Pataki did a great job of bringing the characters to life.  You feel like you know them on a personal level.  I am looking forward to reading her next novel the Accidental Empress due out next February.  Loved this novel!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2014

    Great story, great history

    Fantastic revolutionary history within a great story. Well worth it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Excellent

    Amazing book.

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  • Posted June 13, 2014

    A Must Read

    This is absolutely an amazing book. Definitely changed how I look at Benedict Arnold the Traitor.

    It is very well written and the history is excellent. So much to learn from this book. Why we must defend our Liberty at all cost then and now!!

    I could not put this book down and hope Mrs. Pataki, writes more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2014

    Loved it

    Definite page turner. I couldn't put it down

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2014

    Loving this book--3/4 through

    Both fun and interesting to read

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Highly recommended

    Very interesting well written book. Would recommend even if not someone who loves historical fiction. I wish that there was a sequel to this book

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