The fate of Brooke Astor, the endearing philanthropist with the storied name, has generated worldwide headlines since her grandson Philip sued his father in 2006, alleging mistreatment of Brooke. And shortly after her death in 2007, Anthony Marshall, Mrs. Astor's only child, was indicted on charges of looting her estate. Rarely has there been a story with such an appealing heroine, conjuring up a world so
nearly forgotten: a realm of lavish wealth and secrets of the sort that have engaged Americans from the era of Edith Wharton to the more recent days of Truman Capote and Vanity Fair.
New York journalist Meryl Gordon has interviewed not only the elite of Brooke Astor's social circle but also the large staff who cosseted and cared for Mrs. Astor during her declining years. The result is the behind-the-headlines story of the Astor empire's unraveling, filled with never-before-reported scenes. This powerful, poignant saga takes the listener inside the gilded gates of an American dynasty to tell of three generations' worth of longing and missed opportunities. Even in this territory of privilege, no riches can put things right once they've been torn asunder. Here is an American epic of the bonds of money, morality, and social position.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Facinating and captivating, well researched biography.
I couldn't stop listening to this supurb book. Finished it in two days. Ms. Gordon did an amazing job pulling together every perspective possible of persons involved in the case. It is so morbidly interesting that I found myself doing internet searches to see what the players looked like. You will fall in love with Brooke, Annette De la Renta, and Phillip Marshall. The author does a great job of making the people real for the reader even though they are worlds away from us. After you've made it to Chapter 9, do an internet search for Brooke's will. Seeing the 3 codiciles and her signatures will help you connect with the action in the book. I am a biography junkie and strongly recommed this book.
Meryl Gordon's book is exhaustively researched, all the strands artfully interwoven, and the writing itself phrased in a manner that evokes the old money world and mores it dissects.
Narrator Lorna Raver's voice, her inflection, her flawless delivery of some rather complicated sentence structures, and her subtle shadings of tone to impart humor, irony, sadness, etc, to the words she reads - all come together in an exquisite rendering of the story she's telling.
I can honestly say that I've never yet listened to a book in which the author's style, the subject matter, and the narrator are more perfectly matched.
Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach
I was totally consumed with this story. The reader was perfect.