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Duchess of Palms: A Memoir Hardcover – March 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Texas Press; First Edition edition (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0292719124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0292719125
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,920,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

NADINE ECKHARDT has worked in politics and journalism, lobbied, sold real estate, and run restaurants. Now retired, she continues to enjoy life as a writer, mother, and grandmother. Duchess of Palms is her first book.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Story Circle Book Reviews on April 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Suppose it is 1948. Nadine is a young beauty queen living in the Rio Grande Valley. Maybe the honor of being the Duchess of Palms and representing her home town in the Citrus Festival would be enough for some girls. Not Nadine. She wants more.

Her family can send her to business school. She wants college. Her mother aspires for her to "marry a good provider and never have to worry about working for a living again." Nadine wants some excitement. And so she goes to work, earns some money and takes herself to Denton, Texas where she enrolls in North Texas State College.

So begins Duchess of Palms, the clear-voiced and riveting memoir of Nadine Brammer Eckhardt. Carefully and sometimes painfully, she traces her life--marriage to two strong but needy men, life on the fast track in Austin, Texas and Washington D.C., and the heavy and welcome responsibilities of fourfold motherhood.

This book is more than a memoir--it draws a vivid picture of the period. In her preface Eckhardt stresses the role of women of her time--"the fifties girls," to whom the book is dedicated. Girls were to be "sweet, virginal, sexy, demure, beautiful, passive creatures" who would doubtless spend their womanhood as "perfect wives, mothers and 'helpmates.'" [Reviewer's note: That's what I was taught.] She recounts her efforts in all of these endeavors. For someone who was intended to play a fairly passive role in life, she managed to have some good--and fast--times. Not very long in Denton, Nadine fell in love with Bill Brammer. She was nineteen when she married him on the day before his twenty-first birthday. (Just in time to duck the draft, she notes.) And the race was on. He graduated. She didn't. They moved to Austin where they ran with a trendy, artsy set.
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Format: Hardcover
I was a Young Democrat in the early 60's here in Texas, and rubbed elbows with many of the characters in this book and found it fascinating. I read the book in one evening non-stop. I plan to make contact with Nadine as soon as possible. She is a neighbor of mine in Austin. And I plan to write a memoir soon about my life and experiences. I have a very interesting photo of LBJ and me taken by a Houston Post photographer on election eve 1964 when LBJ asked me to go to the ranch with him and 2 plane-loads of people and press, including Lady Bird, for a BBQ. I turned him down. If anyone would like me to send the photo, write me at lake@nctv.com. Sunshine Williams
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Interesting book that offers another perspective about the expectations of society/men, for girls and women.Another example of how girls/women did not have the knowledge and thus the tools to deal with their marriages and problems in earlier years. More tools and knowledge is now available, if churches would only stop pushing people to stay in un-nurturing marriages.Churches and phony politicians still keep hammering away in public, that marriages are "sacred", just as they deem families "sacred." Nothing is sacred without love and healthy ways at the core! I enjoyed reading this book, and did wish it had been longer !
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