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Publisher's Summary

A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America’s most infamous act of treason.…

Everyone knows Benedict Arnold - the Revolutionary War general who betrayed America and fled to the British - as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot: A charming young woman who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.

Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as military commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: Loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former love and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.

Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.

©2014 Allison Pataki (P)2014 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Story

Is this a bad elementary school play?

This story started out briskly enough, and the subject matter was interesting. I also enjoyed that it was coming from the perspective of the maid, as I expected sort of an an "Upstairs, Downstairs" feel. The first road bumps happened with the introduction of the Shippens. The stilted, uneducated dialogue combined with the cardboard cut out characters brought me back to the days of watching awkward, albeit enthusiastic, grade school dramatizations. I appreciate that the story was well researched, yet have trouble reconciling that with the naive story telling. Nothing had a colonial period feel, except for the extensive detail given to the clothing. Clara as a character was more fully fleshed out than any other, yet the reader is still left to imagine how she leapt from timid subservient, to history changing revolutionary, as there is so little growth in this direction. The audio edition is even worse. I played it at book club, and there were accusations of the voice being a computer auto read feature, as it is so stilted and halting. And the awkward impersonations brought me back, again, to an elementary school auditorium. While fun to brush up on my dusty American History, this historical fiction novel proved very disappointing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Easy to listen to

Good book. Romance type with embellished historical facts. Good for mindless entertainment....
Can't say any more to this but need more wirds

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good Histoical Fiction

Any additional comments?

The story of Benedict Arnold's decision to betray the Americans and most notably George Washington showing the influence his wife Peggy Shippen, who valued things and status, had on his decision to give his support to the English for money and status. Well written and a fair depiction of the conditions in the colonies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not great literature!

Very 'harlequin romance' writing - built around historical figures and events. I was reading it for my Book Club and so really needed to read all of it - the best moment was when I finished the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Colleen
  • Taunton, MA, United States
  • 05-30-14

Narration is horrible

What did you love best about The Traitor's Wife?

Very interesting twist on the life of Benedict Arnold.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator did a horrible job of portraying the male characters in the book, her voice was not deep enough, and often failed to convey when man was speaking. Most especially her depiction of Benedict Arnold is purely awful. Why does she portray him as a man with a stutter? She depicts all of his speech as halting, and she actually does this with several of the characters. It is believable that this man was absolutely entranced by his wife, and catered to her every whim, but in real life he was a well respected General in the Revolutionary Army, he commanded the respect of many people before becoming a traitor. He was not a wimpy shrinking violet that this voice of narration makes him out to be.

Any additional comments?

Reading the kindle edition was a 5 star experience, listening to the audible edition was a 2 star experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Narrator destroys story

I tried three different times to listen to this but could not get past the narrator. I have enjoyed other Pataki books, so assume it was well written, but this narrator ruined the experience.

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Completely mesmerizing

I loved this book and found the narrative and ability to craft the story and build the characters superb. Downloading my next Allison Pataki book right away and can't wait to dive in

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Horrible!

Too much talk about clothing!!! Just awful! Thank goodness it didn't cost me a dime!

  • Overall

The Traitor's Wife

You can tell a lot of research went into this book. I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of the wardrobes, as well as the landscape. The descriptions of the sumptuous food had my mouth watering. I enjoyed the way the author progressed the character of Clara into a strong young woman.

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9th grade dialogue

Terrible dialogue. Narrator mispronounced Oma throughout. Felt like a Made for TV book. Go to Wikipedia

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-17-15

Peggy Arnold

Money, Power, Respect...Peggy Arnold. Clara Bell, weldone! Caleb, the fine soldier with lovely hhazel eyes...