Cheri's Reviews > Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: The Story of a Daughter and a Mother in the Gilded Age

Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart
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's review
Apr 22, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: history, auto-biography
Read in April, 2008

A wonderful look into the world of materialism and elitism that comprised turn of the century America, (and beyond). More than that, it's a fairly universal story of parents dreams forced upon their children.

Forced to marry a hideous man for his title, Alva Vanderbilt seems every bit the Wharton heroine she was, (it's said Wharton drew on her and her friends lives for The Buccaneers) but soon we see that both mother and daughter are more complex and tougher that we could have imagined. Born of a time when women were little more than property, they go on to champion women's rights throughout their lives.

The book is worth the read just for the incredible detailed descriptions of the woman's lives and milieu. It is also very well written, if a bit long at 509 pages.
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