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Customer Reviews for Howard Books The Traitor's Wife

Howard Books The Traitor's Wife

Blinded by his young bride's beauty and wit, Benedict Arnold doesn't realize that Peggy is harboring a secret that will shape history---she's loyal to the British crown! Her maid, Clara Bell, believes in the revolution, but when she discovers her mistress's plot to deliver West Point to the British, can she muster the courage to intervene?
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Customer Reviews for The Traitor's Wife
Review 1 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Traitor's Wife

Date:March 17, 2014
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Its About Time Mamaw
Location:Cleveland, Texas
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Most of you are familiar with Benedict Arnold from you studies in History class. He is known for being ihe world famous traitor. But I bet you didn't know that his wife was his ultimate instrument in his downfall. She was much younger than Benedict and very beautiful. She saw him as her way of reaching her ultimate goal for fame and fortune.
Peggy Shippen delivers her husband Benedict the plans to secure West Point into the hands of the British betraying America. All this for her own vanity of fame and fortune.
Peggy's personal maid has given what she sees as the accounts and events of her mistress's plot to betray America which we know backfired on her and Benedict.
The book is 464 pages of Peggy's deception, greed and vanity. I had no idea this women even exsisted. I actually felt sorry for Benedict anyone being taken in by such a she devil. Who knows how his life may have unfolded if he had not fallen into her trap.
I keep saying in my reviews how I love historical novels. Thanks to authors like Allison Pataki for helping me continue my education in such an enjoyable way. The author has also provided a reading group guide with topics and questions for discussions. Also a conversation with Allison Patiaki of questions and answers along with a way to enhance your book club.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster
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Review 2 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 26, 2014
I am completely amazed that this is a first novel for Allison Pataki. She has taken a well known story and fleshed it out into an even more intriguing tale than we have all read about in our history textbooks.
When I think of Benedict Arnold it is often hard to fathom how he could be such a decorated war hero but in the end wind up being such a traitor to the country he fought so hard to defend. In The Traitor's Wife some of that mystery is revealed. Through the eyes of Clara, the trusted maid to Mrs. Peggy Arnold, we see just how much power a beloved wife can have over her husband.
Peggy is a very complex woman. On the outside she is very beautiful and alluring and knows exactly how to turn a head. On the inside she is scheming and deceitful and always plotting how to come out on top. The name Benedict Arnold may be synonymous with traitor, but the name of Peggy Arnold should hold equal weight.
For all lovers of historical fiction, this book is going to be a great delight. It is my hope that Ms. Pataki will continue to use her incredible talent to bring to light many more of our history's infamous characters and those that worked right along side them.
I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
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Review 3 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

The Woman Who Made Benedict Arnold A Traitor

Date:February 24, 2014
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VicsMediaRoom
Location:Irvine, CA
Age:55-65
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Allison Pataki in her new book, “The Traitor’s Wife” published by Howard Books brings us the woman behind Benedict Arnold and the plan to betray America.
From the back cover: 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.
Behind every traitor is a devilish woman. Say the name Benedict Arnold and immediately the word traitor comes to mind. They seem to be synonymous. Arnold was commander of West Point and, due to his wife’s manipulations, agreed to give over West Point to Major Andre and the British. That is history. How it all happened is fascinating and Allison Pataki has done a memorable job in bringing all the players in this true historical drama to life. Two women, Peggy, the scheming wife, and Clara the loyal maid who gets the information to General Washington. ”The Traitor’s Wife” is full of details that make you feel you are there and witnessing these events as they happened. The characters are marvelous and they live and breathe on these pages. And there is even romance. If you want to know about a moment that could have spelled the end of America then this is the book for you.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Howard Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 4 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 11, 2014
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debwilson
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
My Review:
As a girl, I was intrigued by the story of Benedict Arnold. Forever branded a traitor to his countrymen, I often wondered what drove him to betray his neighbors, friends, and family. This piece of fiction really brings into play the possibility of a woman being a major influence in his life; and a plausible explanation as to what drove him to commit treason against a nation. I enjoyed the story from the maid's perspective, and that added to the flow of the story line and plot.
I am amazed by the depth of skill from this new writer. She weaves a tale that speaks to her knowledge of historical facts and details that make the story so tantalizing and dramatic. The facts alone make for a novel that is absolutely unprecedented; and Pataki takes the particulars and creates a heart-wrenching tale that extraordinary. While I recommend this story to mature readers due to some of the content, this debut novel sings from the pages of a book and becomes a story that will forever burn in your heart.
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
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Review 5 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

History comes alive

Date:February 11, 2014
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bookwomanjoan
Location:Oak Harbor, WA
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This is the kind of historical fiction I really like. I learned about Benedict Arnold in grade school. He was the turncoat who aided the British during the Revolutionary War. But I never knew he did not act alone and that his wife was the one who orchestrated the espionage.
Pataki has done a great job in creating the character of Margaret “Peggy” Shippen Arnold. She comes to life as a crafty and scheming woman, doing almost anything to catch the eye of the man she was after. When Philadelphia was in the hands of the British, it was the dashing Major Andre. When Andre fled as the colonialists retook control of the city, she set her sights on General Arnold.
We read of the activities of 1777 to 1780 through the eyes of Peggy's maid, a fictional young woman, although there was such a maid. Writing from this perspective provided a great contrast between a poor maid loyal to the colonial cause and a young socialite who wanted to be the center of attraction in the kind of society the British provided. I admired the genuine character of the maid while Peggy was one I loved to hate. And I felt sorry for General Arnold, in a way, as he was mistreated and manipulated many times.
Much of the novel is based on historical fact with dialog and other details imagined to enliven what is known for certain. After reading the historical note at the end, I was amazed and very pleased to realize that what I had read was based on a great deal of actual history.
This is a fascinating account of the woman behind Benedict Arnold, the woman who initiated the written correspondence between Major Andre and General Arnold. A woman who managed to hide her involvement in her husband's treason until after her death. It is amazing to think that one woman came so close to changing the course of the Revolutionary War.
I highly recommend this historical fiction. It is well written, entertaining, and you'll learn some history too!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views expressed are my own.
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Review 6 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This story reads like you are there.

Date:February 9, 2014
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Sufficient in Jesus
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Traitor's Wife
The flow of time and the way of memory and the records of history are strange and beautiful things. The past birthed the present; the thoughts and actions of people long dead shape us now. It is crazy to think about it, that the door to the past is locked so firmly and yet we are still influenced by it. We can still dream and write and think about it. We can never get back the to days of the Revolutionary War, we can never share the experiences of the men and women involved... except through a good story. Then the door opens for us. That is the magic of books, that even though we are Now and they were Then, we can step through the pages and meet there.
I don't know a lot about the Revolutionary war, and I certainly don't know enough. Yet I do know when a book feels right, when a scene is thoroughly set, and when characters feel confident in their place in history.
Allison Pataki has written the sort of book that you can dive into, knowing that the story will catch you, and then you can submerge yourself in the world of 1779.
We have a wonderful view-point character in sweet Clara Bell, a lady's maid to Peggy Shippen. Clara may have been raised on a farm, but in her employment she will witness more intrigue and insurrection than I thought possible. It is clear from Clara's first day that her mistress heeds nothing but her own will. Along with Clara we are bemused and often frightened by her willful, petulant, difficult mistress. If she wants unsuitable British suitors, she has them. If she wants to feast at parties and gamble at cards, she does so. Nothing seems beyond her, and she is wholly unpredictable. Even Clara never would have imagined that Peggy would one day marry a patriot general, yet Peggy is exactly the kind of wife you would expect a traitor to have. If it wasn't for wholesome Clara's continual presence Peggy would have driven me insane!
Peggy's excessive wardrobe, her sumptuous dinners and the ever-flowing wines that she ordered... she craved after richness and yet sought it with all of her wiles. Meanwhile, Clara's youth made her appreciate the smaller and yet finer things in life. For Clara, a New Year's celebration was banging pots and pans in the cold street with her fellow servants, or making crowns out of vines to wear for Christmas.
Clara also understood love and caring for people and hoping and dreaming, while Peggy used her admirers to get herself things.
And yet... It made me ask why Peggy would have behaved the way she did, ruling her world with coquettrey. Did she get her highs from knowing that she could have anyone or anything she wanted? Did she enjoy playing the conniving and insipid female? Was she a loyalist because she favored the luxurious lifestyle and high-society connections she had enjoyed, or was she genuinely concerned about nations and kingdoms?
Was she a manipulator of was she love-starved?
So much to talk about inside this novel!
Thank you Howard books for my review copy.
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Review 7 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 7, 2014
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lcjohnson1988
Location:Indiana
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
What a riveting, suspenseful and thoroughly entertaining novel! When I approach a historical novel of this magnitude, I usually read the author’s notes on the research that sometimes details which characters are from reality and those which are purely fiction. One reason I do that is so as I am reading, I can savor the richness of both the history shared along with the imagination of the writer. While I remember that Benedict Arnold was a traitor who was willing to hand over West Point to the British, there is more to the facts than I recalled.
Another reason I read the notes first is to attempt to glean the depth of the story based on the length the writer goes to in order to unearth fact. Finally, the last reason I read the back first is to see if there are other notable books I might desire to obtain on the subject matter. What Allison Pataki writes in the back is for the audience to read on their own time the knowledge and sources shared by Allison.
While many may approach this tale with more knowledge than I or less will in no way make the reading of the book less enjoyable. I spent hours just turning pages, trying to imagine what life was like in the past for both the servants and those of means. What was it like to have war on this soil in this country that I love with all my heart? What would it be like to be the maid in service of a self-absorbed woman who cared only for herself and not a whit about the men she claimed to love or the cost of freedom?
Part of the novel was just entrancing as I felt like an observer watching the main antagonist work cunningly to maneuver people to do the bidding necessary to bring to her what she wanted without care of family or friends. Then, I would come upon a scene and realize just how far removed the servants were thought to be from their masters and the many things they observed, heard or witnessed. Servants were treated as if they were property or merely shadows to do the master’s bidding. In this tale, Clara, the maid servant is becoming entangled in the treachery of her mistress.
The ending of the novel is bittersweet. For a debut novel, this author truly did her homework and took painstaking time paying attention to details of all different sorts related to this period of history. The details help the audience picture in their minds the setting and mannerisms of the era. It would indeed be a shame if anyone passed up reading a wonderful novel that reminds us all of how our choices not only affect the moment, but can have rippling consequences decades down the road.
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Review 8 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

This is one writer to watch! She's AMAZING!!

Date:February 7, 2014
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Heart2Heart
Location:Victorville, CA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I remember reading about Benedict Arnold in high school and all I can remember even now was that he was a traitor to this country. I had forgotten the circumstances surrounding the details of his betrayal to this country during the American Revolution as we were fighting the British to declare our freedom from King George. What's even more remarkable is the novel from author Allison Pataki that takes all her research into the events surrounding Benedict Arnold and George Washington and filling in the rest with some amazing insight as told from the lady's maid perspective to Margaret Stippen-Arnold, Benedict's wife.
In this novel, we meet Clara Bell who is arriving at the Shippen household to serve as a lady's maid for the two daughters of Judge Stippen, Margaret, the youngest, and Betsy who is engaged to be married. Only Margaret, also known as Peggy believes that since Betsy is already engaged, she doesn't need the help to prepare for social outings as much as she does and commands that Clara work exclusively for her needs. Betsy doesn't seem to mind much and soon Peggy is the belle of the ball. Only her rival Meg Chew is vying for the attention of the same man she is interested in John Andrè, who likes playing them both against each other.
But Peggy believes she has the advantage on her side as long as she is willing to comprise some of her lady-like standards to keep Johnny interested in her much to the dismay of Clara and her parents. But when the war begins to move closer to home, and requires that John Andrè leave for the North, Peggy is heartbroken until she gains the attention of Major General Benedict Arnold who is completely captivated by this eighteen-year-old beauty. Peggy believes that in order to escape the confines of her restrictive household she will stop at nothing including attracting the attention of a man who is twice her age to get what she wants, money, power and a place above everyone else. With Benedict Arnold having closed all the stores in Philadelphia to prevent the goods that were shipped from London from being sold and the money going back to aid the King, he begins to smuggle the merchandise up North to make a tidy profit for himself.
Soon Clara finds herself in the middle of what could be considered treason but has no one to tell. She is just a servant in the household and who would believe her story over that of a decorated General and his soon to be wife. What's worse is the more Peggy tries to manipulate the situation with Arnold to gain what she believes she is due in the world, when things don't go her way, she takes her frustration out on Clara. But with no where to go if she leaves the household as a maid, she knows she must bide her time until she can find a way to help her country before she is found guilty of aiding in their treason attempts with what she knows.
I received The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki compliments of Howard Books, a division of Simon and Schuster Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed in this review are strictly my own. Being a fan of Downton Abbey, I love how Allison chose to use the maid's perspective of the historical facts to bring this story to life in her debut novel. Interwoven beautifully into this story are the real facts about the betrayal of Arnold's service to this country as well as the role Margaret Shippen-Arnold truly played in this event. I applaud her diligence to the research it took to bring this into a masterful novel that keeps the reader both entertained and captivated by the events. There is even a discussion guide included in the back that is perfect for book clubs as well as the details and research it took in creating this novel. I easily give this novel at 5 out of 5 stars and will definitely be looking for more of Allison Pataki's novels in the future.
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Review 9 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Historical fiction

Date:January 26, 2014
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darian
Location:Greeley, CO
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The saying goes that behind every great man is a woman. For author Allison Pataki and her new novel “The Traitor’s Wife” one might say, behind every turncoat is a traitorous woman. “The Traitor’s Wife” tells the story of General Benedict Arnold and his infamous betrayal of our nation and escape to England. Pataki put an entirely new layer on the story. That of Arnold’’s wife.
Peggy Shippen was a beautiful young socialite who seduces the war hero Arnold who is 15 years her senior. Unbeknownst to Arnold Peggy, his new wife, is a British loyalist and spy. Little by little she puts in motion a plan to defeat the patriot os America and her plan begins and ends with new Husband the General Benedict Arnold.
This is a great novel. It has suspense, mystery, action, manipulation, love betrayal and loyalty. It has it all and so much more. A great read.
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Review 10 for The Traitor's Wife
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A New Favorite

Date:January 4, 2014
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Amy C
Location:VA
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Traitor's Wife is a historical fiction based on Peggy Shippen, told through the eyes of her maid, Clara. Peggy was the second wife of Benedict Arnold. This novel tells how Peggy was involved in Benedict's betrayal to his country.
I REALLY loved this book. I thought it was well-written and a real page turner. If this is Allison Pataki's debut, I look forward to what else she writes in the future. I'm an instant fan.
If you love historical fiction, especially of the Revolutionary War era, then this book is for you. Highly highly recommended.
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