NATIONAL BESTSELLER • “Marvelous . . . I just had to be there with the Post cereal heiress through every twist and turn.”—Martha Hall Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls
“New-money heiress Marjorie Post isn’t content to remain a society bride as she remakes herself into a savvy entrepreneur, a visionary philanthropist, a presidential hostess, and much more.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code
Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweather Post lived an epic life few could imagine.
Marjorie’s journey began gluing cereal boxes in her father’s barn as a young girl. No one could have predicted that C. W. Post’s Cereal Company would grow into the General Foods empire and reshape the American way of life, with Marjorie as its heiress and leading lady. Not content to stay in her prescribed roles of high-society wife, mother, and hostess, Marjorie dared to demand more, making history in the process. Before turning thirty she amassed millions, becoming the wealthiest woman in the United States. But it was her life-force, advocacy, passion, and adventurous spirit that led to her stunning legacy.
And yet Marjorie’s story, though full of beauty and grandeur, set in the palatial homes she built such as Mar-a-Lago, was equally marked by challenge and tumult. A wife four times over, Marjorie sought her happily-ever-after with the blue-blooded party boy who could not outrun his demons, the charismatic financier whose charm turned to betrayal, the international diplomat with a dark side, and the bon vivant whose shocking secrets would shake Marjorie and all of society. Marjorie did everything on a grand scale, especially when it came to love.
Bestselling and acclaimed author Allison Pataki has crafted an intimate portrait of a larger-than-life woman, a powerful story of one woman falling in love with her own voice and embracing her own power while shaping history in the process.
Pataki (The Queen's Fortune) glides through the life of a real-life cereal heiress in this glossy if hollow portrait. Marjorie's money comes from her father, C.W. Post, who at the turn of the 20th century makes a fortune by producing healthy and quick foods like Grape-Nuts. Unhappy and rudderless after her parents' divorce, she quickly accepts a marriage proposal from a rich lawyer. This begins a cycle of marriages and divorces (four of each), netting Marjorie three daughters, one of whom becomes an actor. After WWI, Marjorie takes a more active interest in the Post company, spearheading a major expansion through the acquisition of Birdseye Frozen Foods and General Foods. While married to the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union in the 1930s, Marjorie buys up Russian artwork and jewelry that becomes the core collection of her mansion in Washington, D.C., which she later wills to the Smithsonian. Lots of notable things happen in Marjorie's life, but Pataki fails to craft them into a satisfying plot or come up with a significant challenge for Marjorie to overcome. Instead, Marjorie comes across as a pleasant person met at a party and promptly forgotten by the next day. In a crowded field of novels revisiting strong women from recent history, there's little to make this one stand out.
This needs to be a movie!!!
Great idea but too wordy
I first loved this book and the whole story was fascinating at first. Got to the middle and the plot line stalled, I didn’t finish the book, too much opulence, parties, & ridiculous spending. I got bored
Wonderful review of history along with good story telling
This book was fascinating and well worth reading. Lots of descriptions of a lavish lifestyle that could have been minimized.