PEEKSKILL, N.Y. -- Allison Pataki found there's more to the Benedict Arnold story than meets the eye.
Pataki, a former Peekskill resident and daughter of former New York Gov. George Pataki, is the author of "The Traitor's Wife," a historical novel that looks at famed Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold and his wife Peggy Shippen Arnold.
"A lot of the action in this book went down in and around Peekskill," Pataki said. "People know the name Benedict Arnold, but they don't know he had this fascinating, intelligent and beautiful wife."
Pataki said she was walking dogs with her mother, Libby, in the Hudson Valley, when she saw a marker about Arnold, British spy John Andre and Shippen Arnold.
"There's very dramatic backstory I didn't know about this fascinating young woman," Pataki said.
Pataki said her father would give history lessons around the table and she grew up a history buff as a result.
"George Washington was often in our area," Pataki said. "Arnold and Andre conspired on a plot to end the war and America's hope for freedom right here. There's nothing I like more than reading and researching history. It was great learning more about my hometown,"
Pataki said she did a lot of research in the Hudson Valley and made up a fictional character to give the reader an eyewitness to dramatic events. She hopes her novel will inspire people to read more about the Revolutionary War.
"Whenever I read historical fiction, I want to Google everything about that time period," Pataki said. "What a wild scheme it was for America to want found a free country. How difficult it was to win liberties and freedom. It was a life and death struggle."
Pataki, who previously wrote for ABC News and Fox News before transitioning to fiction, said she has many fond memories of Peekskill and working on the Pataki farm in the city.
" 'The Traitor's Wife' has so many close ties to Peekskill," Pataki said. "It was a critical force during the war. It's the most geographically beautiful place. It's so rich with history and culture. I felt like I had home court advantage writing and setting the book here."
For more information on Pataki and upcoming events, visit www.allisonpataki.com.
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