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Cocktails, Caviar and Diapers [Kindle Edition]

Renee Duke , Alex Eckelberry
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $6.99
Kindle Price: $0.99
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Book Description

Mad Men meets real-life! Set against a glamorous life of splendor during the rise of the jet age of the 50s and 60s, this is a stirring tale of a voyage of self-discovery and ultimately release,

Living in various overseas postings, we follow Andrée Magnus’ path from the early seeds of self-recognition in Puerto Rico; to a blossoming in Venezuela; finding courage while living in Paris, France; and ultimately freeing herself from the bonds of an unhappy relationship. We see the scenery through her eyes, from the fetid tropics of Latin America, to the streets alive with art and revolution in France, to the chilling snows of northern Europe.

This novel is autobiographical, from a woman who truly lived her life completely, as a fine artist, poet and writer. Her perspectives and pathos are deep and stirring, the imagery bold and vivid.

About the author
Renee Duke (1927 – 2010) was a writer, poet and fine artist. A graduate of Harvard College, she continued her education in Paris, earning the equivalent of a Masters in Fine Arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. She lived all over the world, including Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, France, Belgium, Denmark and her native United States. Throughout her travels, Renée raised six boys. She was a reporter for Women’s Wear Daily and other Fairchild publications, and in the early sixties, wrote a column for the International Herald Tribune. Renée sketched and painted throughout her life and had one-man shows in Paris, Boston, Caracas and Los Angeles.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Renee Duke (1927 – 2010) was a writer, poet and fine artist. A graduate of Harvard College, she continued her education in Paris, earning the equivalent of a Masters in Fine Arts at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts. She lived all over the world, including Canada, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, France, Belgium, Denmark and her native United States. Throughout her travels, Renée raised six boys. She was a reporter for Women’s Wear Daily and other Fairchild publications, and in the early sixties, wrote a column for the International Herald Tribune. Renée sketched and painted throughout her life and had one-man shows in Paris, Boston, Caracas and Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 834 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1475225466
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007X93NO6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,783 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not by a friend or a family member! July 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So far all the reviews I see are from people who either knew or were related to the author of this book. I am neither and cannot give this more than 3 stars. These are given mostly for the good grammar and presenting an interesting premise - a woman's point of view on 50s and 60s. However, the story is rather scattered, as it would seem the author was herself. Random thoughts, random actions, one interrupting the other. As a woman, she claims that she wants to be independent, but the actions show someone who needs and wants to be led and taken care of. She, by her own admission did not want things like worrying about money, food, rent etc to interfere with her 'thoughts'. Might wanted to be an artist, or maybe a writer, or maybe a wife, or maybe a mistress, mother.... couldn't decide from reading this book. Cocktails and caviar yes, did not appear to be any diapers, as the family always had nannies, cooks etc.
Living all over the world, especially in Paris seems to be the reason she got married and started producing children. Shortly thereafter she became unhappy with her marriage and philandering husband, yet wouldn't stand up to him or leave. There is a lot of complaining and 'why doesn't he love/want/need me' going on.
The author also seems to like very few women, there are many clearly nasty observations regarding her own sex. With men she is much gentler.
I don't think that this is a true picture of its time, or at least not for most women of that era. Maybe in that rarefied atmosphere of diplomatic corps.
All in all I wanted to like this book, but after 2/3 of it I started skimming through a lot, as it was scattered but not all that interesting.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Books Ever! June 6, 2012
Format:Paperback
This was truly one of the best books I ever read. I knew Renée later on in her life and she would often tell amazing stories of her time spent living in Europe. One day, she told me she had written a book and I begged her to let me read the manuscript. Night after night I just couldn't put the book down. I was gripped in the magic of its pages.

This is a book about a woman waking up out of a very deep but beautiful sleep. The imagery is powerful as she allows you to see the world through her eyes.

On memorable "scene" (it truly was like a movie to me) was set in an apartment she had rented in a royal palace in Paris. She is throwing a party and Salvador Dali arrives and she graciously speaks to him in Spanish, his native language and he insults her children and dog! Her insight and comments are extraordinary. The people she knew and wrote about, equally amazing. The book is a work of art in the beauty of its narrative but that is merely a fascinating backdrop to the real and most extraordinary story that is being told.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Was ok- if you can skim it September 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't know any of the people in this book- and I thought it was written haphazardly. Thoughts were random and scattered and sometimes it was hard to piece together exactly what was happening. I stopped reading a quarter of the way through and skimmed through the rest.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From "Mad Men" into a brave new world June 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My mother's novel about real life (overlaid with a façade of fiction) showcases her amazing talent for visual imagery and crystalline prose. It is also a heck of an adventure set in that Mad Men era we grew up in. In the climactic scene, she emerges from that frozen-in-amber world to greet whatever comes next (and truly, it was only the beginning!). This book is all about how the postwar century shifted into what we are today. Highly Recommended! Thank you from the depths of our hearts Renee Duke, and very well done to my brother Alex Eckelberry for getting this project DONE!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tyring to have it all March 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, although I never had a "career" nor "children". I definitely felt a connection to the issues surfaced.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of a dear friend July 8, 2012
By Carter
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An autobiography of a most entertaining and fascinating friend. Having known Renee for over half my life, I read this book and marvel at how little I actually knew of her. But reading this work brings to mind wonderful memories, like a glass of fine wine brings back images of cafes and debutante balls. I do miss the lady, but have the pleasure of re-visiting her whenever I have the desire. Even for someone who never knew her, this book reminds one of the days when mothers could really BE MOTHERS, before "latch-key kids" and TV. A great read and one I am privileged to own.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and Read Again! August 3, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely delightful! The writer takes you on a journey from the top of the mountain to the bottom and then back up again. The woman.. Renee Duke.. is a fantastic woman and her life is an extraordinary one. The challenges, triumphs and daily adventures are something everyone can relate too. I love this book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A GRIPPING GREAT READ.
I LOVED THE STORY. VERY TOUCHING.
Published 5 months ago by Beaner
2.0 out of 5 stars slow uptake
too slow to keep interest had to keep reading over first few paged to try to figure out what was going on
Published on March 22, 2013 by Grammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Renee led a fascinating life
Renee was one of my favorite people who led an amazing life. It seems not much has been changed to make it into a work of fiction.
Published on November 15, 2012 by Insider
5.0 out of 5 stars cocktails,caviar and diapers
great book to read could not put it down once i started reading it,was most enjoyable and there plenty of women that can relate to the book, thanks
Published on August 31, 2012 by 074canny
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't want to read a biography
Title says it all. Didn't get past the forward. I wasn't in the mood for a biography. So, I can't say whether it is good or not.
Published on August 30, 2012 by Kristan Geissel
5.0 out of 5 stars Renee Duke...A Remarkable Lady!
A grand daughter of Rene's asked me to write this review. And if you knew Rene, I knew her especially well - at least I thought I did till reading her book - she loved her children... Read more
Published on July 10, 2012 by John B. Fleming
5.0 out of 5 stars Cocktails, Caviar and Diapers
This is real life in the 50s and 60s, with lush details. Her prose sweeps you up in her emotions, and gives insight of the challenges for strong women during that era of corporate... Read more
Published on July 3, 2012 by Gladys
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