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Review: The Swans of Fifth Avenue

February 25, 2016

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Truman Capote befriended society matron Babe Paley and gained access to an exclusive inner circle of society women in 1950s New York.  Truman was especially close to Babe and she and the other women in her social set became Truman’s “swans.”  They enjoyed his stories and his gossip but Truman went too far when he featured them in one of his short stories.

When I saw Patty‘s description of The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin, I knew I had to read it and boy, am I glad I did.  I don’t always care for historical fiction, but I adored this book with its cast of real high society women.  Benjamin brings the characters to life as she tells this fascinating story filled with gossip and snappy dialogue.

I found the lifestyle these women led fascinating.  Being filthy rich always sounds like a dream but it was actually a lot of work for Babe Paley and the rest of her group.  I don’t think I’d be too good at it but I loved reading about it nonetheless.  I loved learning more about Truman Capote as well.  I’ve read his work but didn’t know that much about him personally.  I found myself turning to Google quite often as I read this book and was pleased with how accurately Benjamin told the story.

Melanie Benjamin is now two for two for me and I can’t wait to read more of her work.  I have a feeling The Swans of Fifth Avenue will be one of my favorite books of the year.  Be sure to check it out!

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.
26 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2016 7:27 am

    I can’t wait to read this! She is also 2 for 2 for me, so I must get to her other unread books including this one.

  2. February 25, 2016 7:42 am

    Great line about all the work involved being “filthy rich” LOL

  3. Patty permalink
    February 25, 2016 7:47 am

    I loved that you loved this! My work is done!

  4. February 25, 2016 7:50 am

    I loved this one too! And – wasn’t the way the Swans’ husbands viewed them horrifying?! I’m not sure I’d want to live a life like that…despite all the money.

  5. February 25, 2016 7:55 am

    OMG! I loved this one too! I actually am embarrassed to say that I forgot to review it! UGH!

  6. February 25, 2016 8:09 am

    Glad you loved this one! Patty got me to add it to my wish list, too. Now I just need to find time to read it…

  7. February 25, 2016 8:25 am

    If you and Patty loved it, it’s going on my list!

  8. February 25, 2016 9:26 am

    I’ve certainly seen her name and books a bunch. For some reason, I’ve never been interested in reading her. I guess I will have to reconsider.

  9. Diane permalink
    February 25, 2016 9:44 am

    Glad u enjoyed this so much Kathy – sounds good.

  10. February 25, 2016 11:14 am

    I’ve got it in print and audio. Looking forward to it.

  11. February 25, 2016 11:15 am

    The lifestyles of the rich and famous always make for good reading and Capote! What a character! I thought I read this book but I realize now that I haven’t. Isn’t it terrible when you can’t remember what you’ve read and not read?

  12. February 25, 2016 12:14 pm

    I loved this one, too, and I had loved Benjamin’s Alice I Have Been a few years ago, so I knew the writing would be great. Entering the world of the Swans and Capote was fairly smooth for me because I had seen two great movies: Capote and Infamous. The Swans were in both, and I got a sense of them that carried over into the book.

    Thanks for your great review…glad you enjoyed it.

  13. February 25, 2016 2:52 pm

    This one has been much anticipated by historical fiction readers.

  14. February 25, 2016 4:03 pm

    I wasn’t planing on reading this, but after reading your thoughts and the comments, I might change my mind.

  15. February 25, 2016 4:15 pm

    I should try her books

  16. February 25, 2016 5:05 pm

    Oh boy, your review has moved this one up on my TBR list.

  17. February 25, 2016 6:11 pm

    This does sound fascinating! I will keep this book/author in mind.

  18. February 25, 2016 9:41 pm

    The subject is new to me but it does sound very intriguing.

  19. cover2covermom permalink
    February 26, 2016 12:57 pm

    This is on my to-read list 🙂 Glad you liked it!

  20. Literary Feline permalink
    February 26, 2016 6:27 pm

    I am glad you enjoyed this one, Kathy! Admittedly the subject matter doesn’t especially interest me, but with all the love this book is getting, I may have to give it a try.

  21. February 26, 2016 10:56 pm

    Ah, yes. Being filthy rich does sound fun doesn’t it? I wouldn’t be good at it either 🙂

  22. February 27, 2016 12:38 am

    I have this audio from the library and your review has me even more excited to listen!

  23. February 27, 2016 10:11 am

    I loved the one Melanie Benjamin book I read so I’ll probably get to this eventually! I do love me some historical fiction. 🙂

  24. February 27, 2016 11:24 am

    I’m with you – I love an occasional gossipy book that shows a life I’ll never come close to living. I’ll have to find this one.

  25. February 28, 2016 9:37 am

    Every review of this book has made it sound like so much fun. Sometimes good, gossipy fiction is just what you need.

  26. The Cue Card permalink
    February 29, 2016 6:31 pm

    Glad to hear you liked it. Sounds like an interesting story. I’ve always been curious about Truman Capote.

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