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The Swans of Fifth Avenue
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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6405 comments The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
The Swans of Fifth Avenue – Melanie Benjamin
Digital audio book read by Cassandra Campbell and Paul Boehmer.

Benjamin turns her attention to New York City’s social elite in the 1950s and 1960s. These were women who were wealthy, coiffed and manicured and expertly made up, wives to powerful men, and patrons of the arts. They graced the pages of Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines, and their exploits were reported in the society pages weekly. Then Truman Capote became “best friends” with Babe Paley, the leader of this group of women whom Capote quickly dubbed his “swans.” He lunched with them, attended their cocktail parties, vacationed at their summer homes or on their yachts, entertained them with his outlandish gossip and listened attentively to the stories they shared. His star burned bright, culminating in the fabulous Black and White ball he gave in the early ‘60s. But Truman was a troubled man; and desperate for another bestselling book, he committed the unpardonable sin of betraying confidences by using the stories he had heard in a novel.

I was completely entranced and immersed in this deliciously gossipy tale. I vaguely knew some of the story (I was just a child, but I remember seeing magazine coverage of the Black and White ball), but not any of the details. Benjamin really puts the reader into this glittering celebrity world. I could almost taste the caviar and champagne.

Despite their wealth, beauty and fame, I felt sorry for these women, surrounded by “friends” (frenemies?) but mostly alone, lonely and unhappy. Capote and Babe Paley apparently had a special relationship. But he was so self-destructive he could not help but ruin everything. What a sad ending he had.

The audiobook is masterfully narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Paul Boehmer. They are accomplished voice actors who bring all these characters to life.

LINK to my review

message 2: by Jamie (new) - added it

Jamie Zaccaria | 219 comments Thank you for this review, I'm definitely checking this out

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9371 comments I really enjoyed this read.

message 4: by Magdalena (new) - added it

Magdalena | 414 comments This sounds really interesting.

Hahtoolah | 439 comments I, too, enjoyed this book. Complete dish, but so delicious!

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