I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Fortune Hunter by Daisy Goodwin
Published by Macmillan on 2014-07-29
Genres: Biographical, Fiction, Historical
Source: St. Martin's Press
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Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as Sisi, is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that jeopardizes the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and threatens all of their futures.This brilliant new novel by Daisy Goodwin is a lush, irresistible story of the public lives and private longings of grand historical figures.
“The Fortune Hunter” by Daisy Goodwin is such a fun read. I think this is a novel that many will enjoy. This is my first novel by Daisy Goodwin and I am already impressed. I think I will be looking into some of her other titles. Goodwin brings the reader a romantic historical novel. She writes about characters who live around the 19th century. There are a few inaccuracies where certain events occurred but I believe this can be overlooked because of the fun and interesting characters with the delightful tale that Goodwin brings to the table.
Charlotte Baird is a very unattractive insignificant comely girl who is judged to be a good catch because she is the heiress of a rather large fortune. This fortune made her attractive enough to the potential suitors. Charlotte is fairly independent woman and is a budding photographer that is caught up in the new craze of photography. Charlotte wants romance. She doesn’t want to marry someone who just wants her fortune. She wants someone to love her too.
Bay Middleton is Charlotte Baird’s brother’s friend and he is also an officer. Bay is not a good guy. The novel starts with his married mistress retiring to the country to give birth to hers and Bay’s child. Then Bay begins to fall for Charlotte. Charlotte and Bay become unofficially engaged against Charlotte’s families wishes. Elizabeth or “Sisi” finds her marriage boring and weak and seeks something new. She decides to go after Middleton.
These characters are very comical and fun to get to know. I think each one was given a great background and future story. I felt like I really got to know each character. They became real instead of words on a page. “The Fortune Hunter” does a great job of bringing the British society to life. The social lives of the people back then are so different then how they are now. I can see how their would be a lot of complaints about the historical part of the book doesn’t match up exactly to history but the way I look at it, is that this is a work of fiction. This is based on what someone thinks happened not what actually happened. I loved the story line and I think that Goodwin did a great job with this novel. I look forward to seeing what she brings next.