By Jehanne Wake
From the publisher:
As gripping as the best historical novel, Sisters of Fortune is the story of the exuberant Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton, the American sisters who enthralled the highest levels of English Regency society decades before the notorious Dollar Princesses of the Victorian era. The Caton sisters were descended from prominent first settlers of Maryland, brought up by their wealthy grandfather Charles Carroll of Carrollton, the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and were expected to "marry a plantation." Instead, their grandfather made sure that they were well educated, raising four beautiful and charming young women who were unusually independent, intelligent, fascinated by politics, clever with money, and very romantic.
Arriving in Britain, the Caton sisters swept into the set of the Duke of Wellington and went on to forge their own destinies in the face of intense prejudice against Americans and Catholics. After capturing the heart of the Duke of Wellington, who could never marry her, Marianne shocked the world by marrying his brother Richard, Marquess Wellesley, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and taking a prominent place as a Catholic Yankee among the Protestant Anglo-Irish. Emily married Scots- Canadian John McTavish, heir to Montreal's North West Company, and stayed home in Maryland, where she managed the family's estates and wealth. Louisa became the Duchess of Leeds and a member of Queen Victoria's court, while Bess made a fortune speculating in the stock market.
Yes! Here's another non-fiction book that I am crazy about! Go figure. Sisters in Fortune author Jehanne Wake has beautifully sifted through the Caton sisters' private letters to mold a fascinatingly hypnotic true story of four women, Marianne, Bess, Louisa, and Emily Caton, easily ahead of their time!
Wake's ability to craft a very readable story is evident from the first page. These were amazing women living in amazing times historically and Wake never lets their story drag or become dull. Just the opposite! Historical books can be fun! We read about the social mores and fashions of the time, we read about life inside Britain's royal enclave and we read about the sister who does something unheard of for the time...she speculates and succeeds in the stock market.
I loved this book and have shared it with friends, I'd love for everyone to know what these Caton sisters accomplished in the time way before women were allowed to vote. Wake has written an engaging and riveting book, I highly recommend this one! And just to remind women of what we are capable of doing...give it as a gift to everyone on your list!
4 1/2 of 5 stars!
**Cover image copyright Touchstone/Simon and Schuster
This galley was provided to me by the publisher and in no way affected my review.