During the American Revolution the “belle of Philadelphia” was Miss Peggy Shippen. She was a haughty selfish beauty that was a royalist at heart. Peggy was the type of girl that was beautiful but ugly on the inside. Her maid Clara Bell was everything Peggy was not. Clara had recently lost her grandmother and was taken into service by the Shippen family. Clara had been given the hardest duty in the household and that was to keep Peggy happy. Spoilt rotten to the core Peggy was a vain woman and cared nothing about anything in life other than her pretty face, her elaborate dresses and her handsome British beau major John Andre. Peggy’s lavish life style of fancy dinner parties, gorgeous gowns, and dashing men in uniforms was all too much for Clara. She felt completely overwhelmed with Peggy’s disillusioned world. Her one and only comfort in her new employers home was the developing friendship she had with a young man named Caleb that also worked for the shippen family. Clara began to settle into her new life as Peggy’s maid and found it anything but easy.
The Royalist had controlled Philadelphia at this time during the revolution but nothing lasts forever and it was all about to come to an end. The rebels infiltrated the royalist camp and forced the royalists including Major John Andre to flee. In that instant Peggy’s idyllic life and heart shattered into tiny little bits of hopelessness. Months later she was still broken hearted. Eventually Peggy unenthusiastically welcomed the rebel forces and their commander Benedict Arnold. A legendary war hero of the revolution, Benedict had bravely fought for Washington and had suffered greatly because of it. He had been wounded in the leg during battle and had been in dire financial straights because the loyalist had not paid him for his military services for years. Eventually Peggy came around after mourning the loss of Andre. It was time to move on and since she was a vain woman she realized Benedict Arnold was the only man in town with the means to satisfy her financially. Twice her age and defiantly not her type Peggy pursued the general and with her fathers permission married him even though she only marginally loved him, it would never be a great love affair between them.
When Peggy was married Clara had been sent with Peggy’s new household but finical circumstances arise for the newly married Arnold’s and they got their first dose of reality in the form of poverty. Clara missed nothing to do with Peggy because it was her job. She noticed her mistresses decline and unhappiness it was not a shock to Clara that Peggy had concocted a crazy plan to bring them back to wealth but all at the expense of betraying her country and the men that her husband had faithfully served for so long. It would take every trick Peggy ever learned to sway her husband into becoming a traitor. Forced to just stand by and watch things unfold Clara loved her country and she knew she had to do the right thing. It was just like Peggy to be rotten but this was taking it to a whole new level and Clara just snapped. She had enough of selfish Peggy Shippen and no longer could she or would she just stand by while two traitors destroyed her country.
4/5 Good read, a whole new time period for me this time around. This is my first American Revolution historical fiction novel and I really enjoyed it. What leaned me towards this read was the new TV series Turn, I am hooked on Turn and many of the shows characters are featured in this novel. It was a great introductory novel to the American Revolution. I would highly recommend this novel to historical fiction lovers because it is a great novel that is loosely based on real events.
PG-13 for mild violence and sexual references
FTC- This novel is from my personal collection.Amazon: THE TRAITOR'S WIFE by Allison Pataki
S T A Y C O N N E C T E D W I T H M E :
U T U B E ~ T W I T T E R ~ F A C E B O O K ~ I N S T A G R A M ~ G O O G L E +
~L I Z Z I E~