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Portrait in Brownstone
Louis Auchincloss
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Portrait in Brownstone

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  53 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
This is the story of Ida Denison, wife of a powerful New York financier, and her struggles for happiness and strength in the old family brownstone amid parents, children and husbnd throughout a long, colorful life.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 1987 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published 1962)
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Jun 02, 2013 Margaret rated it really liked it
Shelves: auchincloss, new-york

The Story

Family saga about three (in reality two and a half) generations of a blue-blooded New York family.

The Good

Auchincloss is a smooth and facile writer, so the story flows pretty easily. He also has an eye for the soap-operaish detail and throws in enough family skeletons to keep things lively.

The Bad

Auchincloss's idol, Edith Wharton, drew a clear distinction between her 'respectable' and not-so-respectable characters, like the van der Luydens and the Leffertses in 'The Age of Innocence.
Marne Wilson
Dec 14, 2012 Marne Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love-stories
This is a novel my mother owned, and I remember reading it very eagerly one summer when I was in high school. It's one of those multi-generational sagas that has something for everyone. The part I remember being fascinated with as a teenager was the competition between two female cousins over a new and handsome employee at the family firm. I also remember that Auchincloss had a special gift for dropping humorous anecdotes into the story from time to time.
Dec 03, 2007 Phyllis rated it liked it
Recommends it for: history lovers
I've begun a re-reading of novels by Mr. Auchincloss. He's a New Yorker, who writes about New York "Society", in a somewhat cynical way. In this book, how things look is all important to the members of one family, all of whom live on the same block in NYC. There is endless analysis by each character of all the other characters. It covers about fifty years, from the turn of the 1900's to 1950. All the money comes from the family's interest in a stock and bond brokerage firm, firmly controlled by ...more
Dec 28, 2013 Lindsay rated it liked it
Hard read compared with others of his and darker from the start but a beginning worth working through. While we return to Ida in the end Derrick stole the show because we knew him by each of his lovers and children more than possible for Ida who gave each of them, and us, more to work with and learn only later in life.

Reassuring read for nasty, soulless adulterers who hope for end of life care.
Jun 29, 2013 Elizabeth marked it as read-too-long-ago-so-no-rating
I honestly have no remembrance of what this book was about, but I remember vaguely liking it.
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Louis Stanton Auchincloss was an American novelist, historian, and essayist.

Among Auchincloss's best-known books are the multi-generational sagas The House of Five Talents, Portrait in Brownstone, and East Side Story. Other well-known novels include The Rector of Justin, the tale of a renowned headmaster of a school like Groton trying to deal with changing times, and The Embezzler, a look at white
More about Louis Auchincloss...

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