Review: The Heiress - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger


When Ruby McTavish Callahan Woodward Miller Kenmore dies, she’s not only North Carolina’s richest woman, she’s also its most notorious. The victim of a famous kidnapping as a child and a widow four times over, Ruby ruled the tiny town of Tavistock from Ashby House, her family’s estate high in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

But in the aftermath of her death, her adopted son, Camden, wants little to do with the house or the money—and even less to do with the surviving McTavishes. Instead, he rejects his inheritance, settling into a normal life as an English teacher in Colorado and marrying Jules, a woman just as eager to escape her own messy past.

Ten years later, his uncle’s death pulls Cam and Jules back into the family fold at Ashby House. Its views are just as stunning as ever, its rooms just as elegant, but the legacy of Ruby is inescapable.

And as Ashby House tightens its grip on Jules and Camden, questions about the infamous heiress come to light. Was there any truth to the persistent rumors following her disappearance as a girl? What really happened to those four husbands, who all died under mysterious circumstances? And why did she adopt Cam in the first place? Soon, Jules and Cam realize that an inheritance can entail far more than what’s written in a will––and that the bonds of family stretch far beyond the grave.

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Review: The Heiress
By Rachel Hawkins

Review: The Heiress

An adopted son reluctantly returns to the home and family he repudiates, only to be sucked back into a past marked by murder, and a future dangerously uncertain.

Ruby McTavish, once famous in North Carolina for surviving a kidnapping and becoming a widow four times over, unfurls sinister truths about her life in posthumous letters. Eccentric and wildly wealthy, Ruby is eternally embroiled in controversy. Upon her death, Ruby leaves the vast McTavish fortune to her adopted son, Camden—much to the fury of the rest of the family.

Now, ten years later, Camden is called back to Ashby House following the death of his uncle. Married and working as a high school English teacher, Camden rejects his inheritance, as well as everything and everyone having to do with his family. At the urging of his wife, Jules, however, they return to North Carolina to face his past once and for all.

As the story unwinds in the present, we learn more about Ruby’s illustrious life through letters she’s written: What happened when she was kidnapped as a young girl? What really happened to her four husbands—all who died mysteriously? What led her to adopt Camden? What secrets did she conceal over the course of her life?

Everyone hides something in this fascinating and original novel from Rachel Hawkins (The Villa). Ruby’s letters are witty and utterly engrossing, juxtaposing a forebodingly gothic ‘present’ narrated by both Camden and Jules. It’s all comes to a surprising and satisfying climax.

I loved this book. Loved its originality and approach. Propulsive pacing and intriguing, morally ambiguous characters made it a non-stop thrill ride impossible to put down.

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