Sunday, April 24, 2016

The World of Gloria Vanderbilt


Rating: 3.5 Stars


This will be a shorter review, as this book is shorter on text than my usual fare. it is also harder to review, as there were tons of photographs along side the text. 

First though, I don't know how it has escaped my attention for the last decade or so that Anderson Cooper is a Vanderbilt. I can see why he would not want people to know it immediately - not because he was ashamed, but because of all the 'baggage' he rightly claims that comes with it.

I'm terribly intrigued by Old Money New York of the Gilded Age. The Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Morgans, etc. What I especially found interesting about this books is it gives an account in photos and text of the life of a Vanderbilt in the modern era. Gloria Vanderbilt is certainly an interesting figure, from her many marriages, her multiple careers, and the tragic suicide of her son, Carter.

I must confess: Everything I wrote prior to this sentence, I wrote a few days ago. I saved this review as a draft and have just now come back to it. I can not for the life of my explain why this review has been so much harder for me to write than others. At first I thought as I struggled with this one on Friday night, that it was because I was just in a reviewing slump, that I know I am 8 books behind in my 2016 Challenge if I want to get it completed, this, that, whatever. But it can't really be a slump OR the Challenge, if I managed to write three reviews since then for three other books I had just finished recently, right? I don't know what it is, but for some reason I am just struggling with this one. And that is certainly not fair to the book, because I enjoyed it. Every book deserves a fair review and not one that is half-hearted.

So, here is what I will say: The text was lacking in detail of Gloria's life, because I do not think this was meant to tell her life story in words. Certainly, she has written her autobiography and there are other books that do so as well. This was meant to tell her life in pictures and there it was successful. Personally, however, I just could not get over the fact that in so many rooms she was pictured in later in life, the walls are quilted. It is just weird to me. I do recommend the book, especially for those interested in the remnants of days gone by and seeing how the children of the Gilded Age grew into adulthood, and what it is like to be a Vanderbilt now.

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