Customer Reviews


8 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of a lonely little heiress
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...
Published on October 2, 2005 by Kona

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Like A Fairy Tale, Not A Happy Ending
The Vanderbilt image is one of power, not necessarily contentment, and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt had it all. Shuffled back and forth between a domineering grandmother and her mentally ill mother, she endures a strange, but educational childhood.

This book is her memoir of what it was like to live in a world apart from the rest of us, and the consequences. It...
Published on February 15, 2006 by Betty Burks


Most Helpful First | Newest First

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of a lonely little heiress, October 2, 2005
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once upon a time: A true story
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.

Kona
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From a child's point of view, June 21, 2010
By 
This review is from: ONCE UPON A TIME (Hardcover)
In this first volume of her autobiography, "Little Gloria" Vanderbilt recounts the years of her life as a "poor little rich girl", who had money galore but not nearly enough love, in the 1920s and 1930s. In 1933, her life was forever marred by a vicious custody battle that pitted her grandmother and her wealthy Aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney on the one side, against Gloria's own young mother on the other side. Gloria, being too young to understand why the adults are fighting over control of her and her immense fortune, only wants to be with her beloved nanny Dodo, who has taken care of her all her life and who is the closest thing to a real, loving mother figure that Gloria ever had. Unfortunately, as events unfold, both Dodo and Gloria's real mother end up expelled from her life, leaving a void that's impossible to fill.

Gloria's stream-of-consciousness writing style focuses on expressing emotions, almost poetically in parts. At times the narrative does not flow logically, but it works because little children also do not think in perfect logical streams and thus GLoria's story sounds as if it's really being told by Gloria, the little child. However, if you're not familiar with the basic Gloria Vanderbilt custody-trial story, I recommend you read a different book on it or at least read about Gloria on Wikipedia before you start this book, as otherwise Gloria's narrative may be difficult to follow.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon A Time, October 25, 2011
By 
D. Smith (Monterey, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ONCE UPON A TIME (Hardcover)
is everything the book jacket said it would be and more. Gloria Vanderbilt had the uncanny ability to take you back to when she was a little girl. You get to feel everything she felt and understand the mind of a confused little girl born into a dysfunctional, albeit extremely wealthy family.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time, January 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once Upon a Time (Mass Market Paperback)
I love reading about this great lady. Another delightful book from her.
Ms. Vanderbilt packs more into her life than anyone I have ever known.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, January 8, 2013
By 
Gi Gi Roark (Mountain Home, Id United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Once Upon a Time (Mass Market Paperback)
I knew very little about Gloria Vanderbilt before this book. Now I am truly interested in reading more of her books
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sounds Like A Fairy Tale, Not A Happy Ending, February 15, 2006
This review is from: Once Upon A Time (Audio Cassette)
The Vanderbilt image is one of power, not necessarily contentment, and Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt had it all. Shuffled back and forth between a domineering grandmother and her mentally ill mother, she endures a strange, but educational childhood.

This book is her memoir of what it was like to live in a world apart from the rest of us, and the consequences. It reads like a novel about love and loss, only this is about the strange lifestyles of a family entrenched in the rich and famous, with a dash of old-time political intrigue.

She had to be without prejudice with such a different mother to emulate. The heredity probably caused the suicide of her son. She has endured much, but I do enjoy wearing her hand cream; alas, I did not care for the Vanderbilt jeans, but she stayed so slim they looked good on her.

More power to her! Her life hasn't been easy even with the wealth and class to which she was born. It has been hard but no doubt made her a stronger woman for just getting through it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Loved hearing about Gloria Vanderbilt from Gloria Vanderbilt, July 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ONCE UPON A TIME (Hardcover)
Loved hearing about Gloria Vanderbilt from Gloria Vanderbilt! Her very descriptive writing takes you back through time to experience her life with her.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Once Upon a Time, May 10, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: ONCE UPON A TIME (Hardcover)
Was a gift, did not read it. But I am sure it is a good book if this is Anderson Cooper's Mother.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time by Gloria Vanderbilt (Mass Market Paperback - March 12, 1986)
Used & New from: $0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.