Daily Archives: May 26, 2014

The American Heiress Book Review

In 1776, America won the war of Independence against the British. In the 1890’s, wealthy American parents returned to the British Isles, looking for titled and wealthy aristocratic husbands for their daughters.

Cora Cash, heroine of Daisy Goodwin’s novel, The American Heiress is one of the wealthiest young women in America. Mrs. Cash, her controlling mother, is not looking for husband for her daughter among the young men in their social circle.  She requires a title for her daughter, coupled with a large estate.  While riding in the countryside, Cora meets the Duke Of Wareham, known to his family and close associates as Ivo. Their engagement and marriage quickly follows.

But Cora is unaware of the stringent customs and traditions of her new country. Her husband is distant at times, causing Cora to question if she made the right choice.  While Cora is learning about her new life, her free black maid, Bertha is also learning about English customs while being courted by the Duke’s valet.

This book is absolute perfection. It is part Edith Wharton, part Jane Austen, with a dash of Downton Abbey. Ms. Goodwin balances the details of the period with a very entertaining story line and interesting characters.

I highly recommend this book.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, Downton Abbey, Jane Austen

The Cripple of Inishmaan Review

Daniel Radcliffe is an exceptional actor. At the the young age of 24, he has starred in one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. In the three years since the release of the final Harry Potter film, Radcliffe has continued to show audiences that he can play characters that are far from the world of his bespectacled wizardly alter ego.

His new play, The Cripple of Inishmaan is about a small island off the coast of Ireland. Among the residents of this island is Billy (Radcliffe), a orphaned young man born with a physical deformity. When Hollywood visits to make a film about their island, the residents hope for a chance for stardom. Vying for this chance of stardom is the very funny and mouthy brother and sister duo of  Helen and Bartley McCormick (Sarah Greene and Conor MacNeill). Billy’s aunts, Kate and Eileen Osbourne (Ingrid Craigie and Gillian Hanna), who have raised Billy since his parent’s death, are equal parts concerned about him and quick to remind him of his deformity.

This play is very good and very funny. While most of the characters have a small town mentality, Billy is eager to leave his small town and find opportunity in Hollywood. The supporting cast is well chosen and very funny.

I recommend this play.

 

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Filed under Broadway Play Review