The Traitor's Wife


Everyone who studied even a little about the American Revolutionary War knows that Benedict Arnold is one of the most infamous traitors in American history. But few people know even a little about his wife, Peggy Shippen Arnold.

The Traitor's Wife tells the (historically- and factually-based but) fictional account of Peggy and her impact on Benedict's decisions that led to his betrayal of General George Washington and pals. The story is told from the perspective of Peggy's personal maid, who has a first-hand glimpse into the moments that lead to the Arnold's downfall -- and Peggy's role in all of that.

From a historical standpoint, it's fascinating. I learned a lot about Major John Andre, Peggy's former lover and the British soldier whose capture identified Arnold as a traitor, as well as a few other historical tidbits. The dialogue was very Pride and Predjudice-ey, very campy and over the top, but it fit the time period and the story was generally told very well.

While the story was great, the writing wasn't really my style. If you're a fan of historical fiction, and particularly enjoy reading about American history, then this is a good book to pick up for a long flight or read on the beach, but don't expect a fantastic degree of historical accuracy here.