Monday, April 26, 2021

Review: The Social Graces by Renee Rosen

The Social Graces
by Renee Rosen

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  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.

Kritters Thoughts:  Two women were big characters, but not in a time where women could be big characters.  They both were creative in the way they made space for themselves in the world where men took center stage and women had certain expectations set for them.  

Caroline Astor was the woman who set the standard for society.  Women followed in her path just in the hopes that she would acknowledge them.  She was the woman at the top of the pyramid, but didn't want to make room for another one at the top.  Alva Vanderbilt had an interesting childhood for the woman she ended up being.  She was a part of the new establishment that wasn't accepted by the old and she was bound and determined to make it to the very top.  

I absolutely adored this book.  The time and place and the characters were just right.  It is 1876 in New York City and the world is changing and evolving and everyone is trying to "keep up with the jones" or the Astors!  I loved the balls and the city.  But what I loved the most was the history that I learned - the inception of the Metropolitan Opera House and the history behind the Waldorf Astoria hotel.  If you are a fan of New York like I am and would love to know more about how it came to be, this book is just for you.  

I love to read historical fiction.  But I am loving the historical fiction that are far from wars and battles as that is what seems to be the most prevalent recently, so a good historical fiction that is just about a great time and place was what I needed right now.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 44 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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