Well-written and, ultimately, quite dull. The main character is a mannequin who seems to feel and think very little, with the result that it's hard to care what happens to her. Fans of Edith Wharton, be warned: while Goodwin has clearly done her research on the fashions and manners of the day, she has nowhere near Wharton's understanding of the human heart.
I thought this book was great!! For any fans of Downton Abbey, this is just what you want to eat up! No, it's not great literature, but she did her homework, and it totally goes along with the theme of Downton Abbey, except that it takes place in an earlier period. The heroine's name is Cora, which I thought was a bit unoriginal, but otherwise, I liked her and I had fun reading this, couldn't put it down.
I really wanted to like this book...but I didn't. Ms. Goodwin certainly has the credentials to be a wonderful author but this read like a junior in high school dashed off a book on a whim. You do like Cora but she is the only one that appears likeable. None of them are fleshed out enough to even care about. Even her loyal maid is unexplainable. Characters do things that make no sense and then the consequences, if they are explained at all do not meet with what has happened previously. Seriously, pass on this one.
This book reminded me of the gothic romances I read as a teenager, just without the half naked man and swooning woman on the cover. Predictable plot, predictable characters, predictable ending. Still, an easy and not unpleasant read... A good book for when you just want something mindless to occupy your time.
Just OK. Had the makings of a great story but wasn't well developed and then wrapped up in an awkward, speed wrap up. Definitely interesting subject matter just a little disappointed in how it all came together.