Sunday, April 18, 2021

Review: The Social Graces by Renee Rosen


Historical Fiction



Release Date
April 20, 2021

Synopsis from 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.

My Review

The author takes us back in time to the Gilded Age in New York in the 19th century.  She takes us into the world of the Astors and the Vanderbilts.  It’s a time when society matters.  “Old money” vs “New Money”.  The Astors are “old money”, while the Vanderbilts are “new money”.  

Alva Vanderbilt recently married into the wealthy family and desires to mix and mingle with all the high powered people in New York society.  She tries everything she can to ingratiate herself into Caroline Astor’s world, but Mrs. Astor isn’t having any of it.  She wants nothing to do with any Vanderbilt, especially Alva.  

This does not stop Alva from trying.  Nothing is more important to her than being on top of society.  These two women continually battle for control of New York.  

The characters are well-written.  Renee Rosen did a great job of capturing their personalities and bringing them back to life on these pages.

The book is rich in history, while mixing in fiction as well.   It has it all - betrayal, arranged loveless marriages, women fighting for their rights, and the glitter and glamour of Old New York.  It touches all the emotions from happy to tragic.  I laughed and cried through it all.

This is the second book I’ve read by this author and I’ve loved both of them.  This one might be my favorite.  She did a wonderful job of transporting me back to the Gilded Age.   I enjoyed every minute of my time spent in this world.  I really didn’t want to see this one end.

It's on my list of favorites of 2021.

For reading challenges:

NetGalley and Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2021

FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Yvonne! This sounds lovely and the cover is beautiful. Will keep an eye out! Thanks for a great review!


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