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Alienation of Affection Paperback – September, 2003
2016 Book Awards
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Top Customer Reviews
To be fair, he might have white-washed Ms. Patterson's personal history and he might have exaggerated her beauty and its effects, but on the whole, it made for a more entertaining read than a sanitary documentary account would have done. I dare go so far as to say that more histories should be written in this format.
As a native Denverite, I feel it's important for us to know our city's history. I'm surprised that this sensational bit of history has not been made into local legend (and sad that I never knew of it before this book). I'm glad Mr. Hardaway revived one it and feel like a better Denverite for knowing it.
The novel remarkably encapsulates the facts for a nonprofessional and a legal scholar alike. Prof. Hardaway's writing style is flawless and attracts the readers, as was his effusive and exciting lectures. The title of the book "Alienation of Affection" is a legal cliché that is extinct in all the states in the U.S., except South Carolina. Alienation of Affection is a term for a legal action by an estranged husband or a wife against the person responsible for the estrangement. In most cases, such person is a lover for whom a husband or a wife, for that matter, leaves his or her counterpart.
I think the reader will thoroughly enjoy this book and will learn immensely on the history of Denver, and lifestyles of the early 20th century. Especially of those commoners like Ms. Gertrude who became the rich and famous.
PS: Nobody gets hit over the head by a baseball bat in this novel.
It is not clear if the author invented the long sections of dialogue that introduce us to Gertrude and her early life in Chicago or if such dialogue came from newspaper accounts, as told by Gertrude herself. At any rate, the story as given is calculated to create the most favorable impression possible for this supremely successful mistress.
I ended up returning the book to Amazon, not because I was disappointed in content, but because the copy I received was defective. It was missing pages 144 to 192! Since this section presumably includes her courtship, marriage, and breakdown of marriage with Patterson, I was left to fill in the rather extensive blank. I didn't trust a replacement copy not to have the same problem, since the defect probably affected more than one book in the print-run.