The Social Graces

Author: Renee Rosen
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: The author of Park Avenue Summer throws back the curtain on one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Astor’s notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age.

In the glittering world of Manhattan’s upper crust, where wives turn a blind eye to husbands’ infidelities, and women have few rights and even less independence, society is everything. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor—the Mrs. Astor.

But times are changing.

Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America’s richest families. But what good is money when society refuses to acknowledge you? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything.

Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this is a gripping novel about two fascinating, complicated women going head to head, behaving badly, and discovering what’s truly at stake.

Ope’s Opinion: To be fair, I must start my review by saying I rarely read historical fiction, so when you read my review, you might want to look at what other people say. I did enjoy this read. It was interesting to read the authors notes at the end too. She let the reader know where the facts were and where she added her own ideas of how it might have been at that time.

The story was told from Alva, Caroline and Society’s perspective. I didn’t think the Society perspective added much to the rest of the story. Alva was one strong, determined woman. She did not give up. I do enjoy a strong woman in any story. Caroline on the other hand, did not have to fight for her position in society. It was written so you understood both woman, each representing different parts of society in that time.

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