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Story of a lonely little heiress
on October 2, 2005
In this fascinating memoir, Gloria Vanderbilt describes the first seventeen years of her unusual life. Her earliest memories were of her father's death, and going to Paris to live with her mother. It was Gloria's greatest desire just to be noticed by her mother, to hear her voice, and maybe, if she were good enough, to actually be loved by her. But they were never alone; they were always surrounded by relatives, lovers, movie stars, and even royalty, and her only source of love was her beloved nurse.
At the age of ten, Gloria was involved in a controversial custody battle between her mother and her aunt, who became Gloria's new guardian. Gloria lived in a series of mansions and penthouses and watched the whirl of high society life around her as through a veil, never really connecting with anyone and having no idea who she really was or where she belonged.
This book is a rare peek into a girl's soul, a girl who just happened to be the most famous little rich girl in the country. She called herself The Imposter; fatherless, almost-motherless, whispered-about but never talked to, her life directed by lawyers and drowning in loneliness. As she said, if her story were a play, her part would be so small, she would be an understudy. "Once Upon a Time" is exciting, touching, and well-written, and impossible to put down.