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"People s "Book of the Week "USA Today s "#1 New and Noteworthy Book "Entertainment Weekly" s Must List "LibraryReads" Top Ten Pick
Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of "Vogue, "and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.
Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entree into the enviable lives of Manhattan s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls True Heart, Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller even when the stories aren t his to tell.
Truman s fame is at its peak when such notable celebrities as Frank and Mia Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Rose Kennedy converge on his glittering Black and White Ball. But all too soon, he ll ignite a literary scandal whose repercussions echo through the years. "The Swans of Fifth Avenue" will seduce and startle readers as it opens the door onto one of America s most sumptuous eras.
Praise for "The Swans of Fifth Avenue"
This moving fictionalization brings the whole cast of characters back to vivid life. Gossipy and fun, it s also a nuanced look at the beauty and cruelty of a rarefied, bygone world. "People"
The era and the sordid details come back to life in this jewel of a novel. "O: The Oprah Magazine"
A catty, juicy read that s like a three-martini lunch. "USA Today"
Captures] the mesmerizing sparkle and scandal of New York high society in the 1950s. "Chicago Tribune"
Tantalizing . . . Readers will fall into a world of glitz, glamour and the exciting life of the rich and famous. The details and conversations are so rich, you may forget you're reading a novel. Associated Press
Highly entertaining. "The Washington Post"
Captivating . . . teeming with scandal, gossip and excitement. "Harper s Bazaar"
Take "Gossip Girl "and move it to the 50s. "theSkimm"
The strange and fascinating relationship between Capote and his swans is wonderfully reimagined in this engrossing novel Sara Gruen, " New York Time"s bestselling author of" Water for Elephants"
Your next must-read book-club selection. Jamie Ford, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet""
From our buyer, Margaret Terwey: Melanie Benjamin is dishing about Truman Capote and his "swans", the elite New York women he surrounded himself with during his early literary success. Historical fiction from Melanie Benjamin is always meticulously researched and beautifully written. If you're looking for a novel that moves you, mixed with some juicy celebrity gossip, The Swans of Fifth Avenue is a must-read!
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-10-26
- Reviewer: Staff
In 1975, a clique of Manhattan socialites discover that literary lion Truman Capote revealed their dirtiest laundry to the world in a story published to great fanfare in Esquirea real-life event that inspires this novel. As the women (the metaphorical swans of the novels title) face his perfidy, they attempt to untangle an intimacy with Capote that dates back to 1955. Though Marella Agnelli, C.Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, Pamela Churchill Harriman, and Slim Keith all feel betrayed, its style icon Babe Paley who suffers most. Unconventional, brilliant, and voraciously ambitious, Capote seems an unlikely confidante for a woman celebrated solely for marrying, living, and looking well, but the loneliness and insecurity the two both hide forges a deep bond. Babe trusts True Heart enough to reveal shameful secrets, from her false teeth to her powerful husbands sordid philandering; tragically, if predictably, Capotes desperation for writing fodder proves more powerful than love. Benjamins (The Aviators Wife) fact-based narrative captures the eras juiciest scandals and wildest extravagances, but readers expecting the sympathetic protagonists of her earlier books may be disappointed by the diffuse and chilly cast of characters here. With an unabashed delight in bitchy gossip and lavish lifestyles, the novels themes are sober ones: the double-edged power of telling our stories, the ways we test and punish those we love, and the psychic cost of life lived by the mantra appearance matters most. (Jan.)