Friday, February 1, 2013

The Heiresses Review and Interview with Author Allison Rushby

Goodreads Summary
Three triplets—sisters estranged since birth—are thrust together in glittering 1926 London to fight for their inheritance, only to learn they can’t trust anyone—least of all each other.

When three teenage girls, Thalia, Erato and Clio, are summoned to the excitement of fast-paced London—a frivolous, heady city full of bright young things—by Hestia, an aunt they never knew they had, they are shocked to learn they are triplets and the rightful heiresses to their deceased mother's fortune. All they need to do is find a way to claim the fortune from their greedy half-brother, Charles. But with the odds stacked against them, coming together as sisters may be harder than they think.

Publication Date: January 7, 2013

Interview with Author Allison Rushby

Where did you get the inspiration for your book?

This is so embarrassing, but I think it was actually from watching Dr Phil (or something awfully like it). I can't say too much as it will spoil the plot completely, but I saw a segment that involved a family and their genetic makeup and asked my husband (a medical specialist) about it all that evening. This led me to wondering how this family's scenario might have played out if genetic testing was not available to them, which is the case in The Heiresses, set in 1920s London.

What other novels in the New Adult genre would you compare The Heiresses to?

I think the obvious comparison is Anna Godbersen's The Luxe series, because of the historical setting and the saga-like plot. I love all her books!

What do you feel the major differences are between a YA and New Adult novel?

For me, it's all about bridging that gap between childhood and adulthood and the more I see people discuss New Adult, the more this is firmed up in my mind. I do think people focus too much on the sexual content of books when talking about the New Adult genre. For me, The Heiresses is New Adult because of how the girls deal with the sex they are having in the book (and, to be honest, there isn't a whole lot of sex) and how it changes them from girls into women, along with all the other happenings in their new lives.

What are you reading right now?

I'm actually on a short New Adult/Young Adult reading break (might have gorged myself a little there) and am reading Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is absolutely fascinating and horrifying all at the same time.

What’s your writing process? How long did it take to complete your novel?

The Heiresses was a little different for me because it was contracted from only a short writing sample and a series guide. I wrote it very quickly, in under nine months (altogether, it's roughly 120,000 words). Usually I wouldn't be anywhere near this fast!

What was the most difficult part of writing The Heiresses?

The most difficult part was the historical research. Although I love to read historical books and watch documentaries and historical dramas on TV, I hadn't actually written anything historical before. When I started writing, I found myself stopping after every second sentence or so to research this point and that point. After a while, I realised I had to write on and put little 'x' signs where I needed to research and go back later to do all my research in one session, or I'd never get anywhere!

Luckily, I wrote The Heiresses while living in Cambridgeshire in the UK (I usually live in Australia), so could pop on a fast train and be in London in under an hour to research anything I liked. Being so close to London was an enormous bonus – from the London Transport Museum, to simply walking around Belgrave Square, it really brought the story to life for me. I even managed to crash the village set of Downton Abbey, which was a hugely exciting day, despite the fact that it snowed (Australians don't do snow well…)!

What are your future writing plans?

I'm currently contracted to write a Middle Grade book, so am in the throes of that at the moment. Next up, however, I'm very excited to be starting a New Adult medical psychological thriller, which will also be a new writing area for me.

Any advice for aspiring New Adult writers?

Read widely and write what you'd love to read. I think it always shows if you're writing something you're excited about, rather than trying to write to a trend.

My Review:

This was a quick and fun read! I loved the prose and I found myself transported to 1920s England as three long-lost sisters fight for their inheritance.

The Heiresses is being released in six “episodes” before the entire full-length novel comes out in May. When I realized this, I thought it sounded a little too gimmicky for my tastes. However, after finishing the first episode, I like the format. I don’t always have a lot of time to read at night, so this gave me the chance to finish the first episode in about the same time it would take me to watch a TV show.

I never watched Downtown Abbey, but I imagine fans of the show would like this story. It had the same sort of vibe to it. It was gossipy and glamorous while also showing what goes on behind closed doors of the rich and privileged.

The first episode was merely an introduction to how the girls came to be separated and their lives since their mother died in childbirth. Their estranged aunt summons them to plot a way for the girls to get their rightful inheritance back from their half-brother. I was able to connect with Ro and Clio right away, but I found Thalia irritating. I imagine it may take some for her to grow on me.

The historical details were the best part of The Heiresses. Rushby obviously did her homework and 1920s England came to life. I was all set to put on my rouge and have my kids start calling me her ladyship. I loved how we meet the girls during a progressive era.

This was a fun and light read. The first episode ends on a cliffhanger and I’m curious to see how the story progresses.

Rating: 4/5 Stars  

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book for review!


  1. I can imagine that the research would be tough to stay accurate.
    Great interview.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. I love HF! I'll wait and pick up the whole book in May. I do hope you do a reminder post :) WRITE ON!

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