heading-the english wife

Author: Lauren Willig34945222

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published by: St. Martin’s Press

Published on: January 9, 2018

Pages: 384 [hardcover]

*The English Wife was my Book of the Month pick for December*


Let’s travel back in time to New York City during The Gilded Age (1877–1896)… a time when people quoted Shakespeare regularly, heat came from the fireplace, and traveling from America to England took at least two weeks.

Meet the Van Duyvils: they are what one might call, ‘old money’. They are socialites; they fraternize with the Vanderbilts, spend summers at their Newport estate, wear corsets, and host balls.  Think, current day Van Der Woodsens of the upper east side (Gossip Girl, anyone?).


The English Wife is a mix of my two favorite genres: mystery & historical fiction. I have to say, I was quite excited to start reading. Not only is it a book about a wildly interesting time period, but there’s a murder-suicide to solve, too?! Unfortunately, my excitement died rather quickly….


the first thing that went wrong...

The characters bled together in the most confusing fashion. Featured are: Anne, Annabelle, George, Georgie, Georgina, Giles, Genevive, Mrs. Gerritt. Not to mention that there are two Mrs. Van Duyvils and a Miss Van Duyvil to finish off my already bursting brain.

then the wheels fell off

Need I say more? Who’s with me?

“She couldn’t blame them envying her her husband.”


typo #2
“Jane decided there was something to said for being under the influence.”


Conclusively, The English Wife is predictable and unoriginal. It’s a poor mix of The Other Boleyn Girl and The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.  I’m going to give it one star for author empathy and another for historical accuracy.

Negative reviews are a rarity on BlondeVsBooks. We support authors; we are authors. Sadly, we do not recommend this book. 



MY NEXT READ: The Dry by Jane Harper

the dry

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