They can buy anything they want—fame, power, beauty, even loyalty.
But they can’t buy love.
The beautiful and wealthy heiress daughters of August Price can buy everything their hearts desire. But what if their desire is to be loved, without an enormous price tag attached? When one sister betrays another for the sake of love, will she find happiness? And what happens when the other sets out across the still untamed frontier to find it—will she discover she’s left it behind in the glamorous world of the New York gilded society? What price will each woman pay for being an heiress?
Set in the opulent world of the Gilded Age, two women discover that being an heiress just might cost them everything they love.
I love reading stories set during the Gilded Age, and have read a good number of them to date. This novel tops them all as my absolute favorite. In fact, in my opinion this is Susan May Warren's best book ever! I've read ten of her books and have ten more (at least) that I own or have started. Her historical fiction is far superior in quality because it's full of deep, heart-felt insight on a level that her contemporary novels don't quite touch. I used to think Sons of Thunder was her best book because it was so intense and fabulous, but this novel even tops that one.
In my opinion, Susan is clearly gifted when it comes to writing historical romance. She does a great job with deep point of view and insight into human frailty and overwhelming regrets. At many different times while reading this novel I felt like I was living the life of each of the sisters. The author includes so much sensory detail with visceral emotion attached to it...like the scent of city life, the ink from the presses, stark terror from the absence of light deep in the mines, the pain from wearing the corsets, to constriction of society's expectations, the blood from...well I won't say.
Anyway, a few times I was agonizing over the story line. I felt like yelling into the book and saying nooooo! Talk about torturing your reader with the characters' conflicts! I was feeling their regrets and wishing they had made better choices too. My heart hurt for them. I was living this story! That's great writing.
Things I admired most about this novel was it was brave, honest, and well told. How many Christian authors have their characters actually admitting to themselves that something was very wrong that happened, but it led to something that was very right...like understanding true love for the first time in their lives? There were some tender scenes that included passionate gazes and kisses filled with so much longing. The intense emotion in this novel was palpable at times. And the heroes were so lovable.
Many contemporary topics were covered that were relevant back in the Gilded Age just like they are now. Infidelity, spousal abuse, the love of money and position, and pride over appearances to name a few. I loved how the author tied so many truths into each character's struggle with their desire to know true love and with learning to receive forgiveness. The heroes were each, in their own way, models of Christ. They were committed to the heiresses, patient and willing to forgive. But unlike Jesus, the heroes weren't perfect. I loved that too. I didn't find the spiritual thread heavy handed, but it was clearly present. I like how the author showed their spiritual journeys in a way that was culturally relevant to the times. I loved how she referred to D. L. Moody and some of his famous sermons as well.
This was a great book. But I have to warn you that it's addicting. I literally struggled with having to go to work when what I really wanted to do was stay home and read this novel. Excellent fiction. Compelling. Well-plotted. Intelligently written. I was thinking, "Man, I wish I could write like this." Truly superior and emotionally evocative writing. I highly recommend it.
Heiress was published by Summerside Press and released in July 2011. This is Summerside's best book! A copy was provided to me for review by Litfuse Publicity. The opinion expressed above is entirely my own.
Susan is celebrating the release of Heiress with an opulent Gilded Age Giveaway!
One grand prize winner will receive:
- A $100 gift certificate to ModCloth.com
- A sleek silver iPod™ Shuffle
- A beautiful strand of Pearls
- Titanic DVD
- Speakeasy Compilation Music CD from Starbucks™
- Heiress by Susan May Warren
Click one of the icons below to enter. But do so soon - this giveaway ends 10/5/11.
The winner will be announced Thursday, October 6 on Susan’s blog.
Read an excerpt here.
Find out what the reviewers are saying here!
A full listing of her titles, reviews and awards can be found at: www.susanmaywarren.com.