Jen's Reviews > Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach

Mrs. Astor Regrets by Meryl Gordon
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's review
Jan 11, 09

bookshelves: to-read

NPR: Five Books to Give Yourself

Brooke Astor was charming, witty, infinitely generous and as much a part of New York City as the stone lions on the steps of the public library (a building that was one of Astor's favorite beneficiaries). The widow of pedigreed multimillionaire Vincent Astor, she was unfailingly attentive to her guests — especially male ones — and remained a huge flirt well into her 100th year. But by her own admission, Astor hadn't been so great as a mother to her only child. Meryl Gordon's exhaustively researched book carefully unravels the extremely complicated relationship Astor had with her son, Tony Marshall, and followed how his alleged mismanagement of her funds caused his own son, Philip, to take him to court so that others could properly care for Astor in her remaining days. A riveting cautionary tale of privilege, family resentment and greed, Mrs. Astor Regrets reads like good fiction, which — unfortunately — it isn't.

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