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The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter's Search for Home Paperback – Bargain Price, June 16, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
That was my experience after seeing the bewitching photo of Rosamond Pinchot in the book "Edie: An American Tragedy" when I first read it 20 years ago. Thankfully, Bibi Gaston has fleshed out the portrait of her elusive grandmother and, in doing so, has tied together the threads of her family history: charisma and depression, great wealth and petty greed, being given great advantages as a child yet lacking loving parents and suffocating under secrets.
In the "Edie" book, the brief mention of Rosamond was almost dismissive and seemed to imply her suicide was inevitable. Yet Gaston shows us a vibrant, loving woman whose death surprised all who knew her.
Suicide can so color the entire history of someone's life, and people can be easily erased by someone else's tossed-off description.
Bibi Gaston has brought her grandmother back to life in her quest to understand her and unravel the mystery of her family and she has done so in the loveliest way.
Still, the book is called "The Loveliest Woman in America" and indeed it is Rosamond's beauty that "sells" the book and creates its primary interest, so it would be nice to at least have had more pictures of her, if not more of her diaries too. In fact, I wonder if it wouldn't have been more interesting if she had just published the diary instead of this book. None the less, it is well written and interesting, and certainly better than nothing after the bewitching portrait of Rosamond in Jean Stein's "Edie" sparked an interest in the heretofore long-forgotten actress.
is a gifted storyteller and a brave heart.
Intrigued by the little bit she knew about her grandmother and puzzled because of the family's suppression of facts surrounding her life and death, the author devoted herself to unraveling the mystery of who Rosamond really was and why her life ended as it did. The book is based mainly on Rosamond's diaries which came into the author's hands in 2003 after the death of her father, Rosamond's son.
Early on, Ms. Gaston seems to focus on establishing the pedigree, privilege, achievements and connections the Pinschot family; integral to the story but rather dry because of the passing of time and the persons involved. After Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Arden, and George Cukor, not many others of the then-famous names included evoked more than slight recognition to this reader though certainly some others will have more reason to remember. The narrative gets off to a very slow start but improves in both style and content in later chapters when Ms. Gaston writes with first-hand knowledge about her father and other members of the family. The chronology of the story jumps back and forth in time from the 1920s to 2007.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A most interesting journey. The research required to have written this book is remarkable and second to none. I felt very connected to this story of Ms. Gaston's. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am enjoying this book. I t was sent in a timely manner and pleased with my purchase.Published 6 months ago by Terre Kava
wonderful condition thank you from A very satisfied customer, hippo_books used-like newPublished 12 months ago by Judy Neal
Truth & Beauty....A richly rewarding book about so many things; impressive family invested in environmental concerns and the quest
for beauty, blessed with wealth,... Read more
Well written with lots of new information about this lovely lady. Interesting how she lived with the wealth, and how she could leave her children without a mother.Published on February 1, 2014 by annie wallace
This was very interesting from the design of the book cover through the well written reflections on the mysteries of dysfunctional families. Read morePublished on September 2, 2013 by Mary Cross
The sobriquet of loveliest woman in America was bestowed by the press on Rosamund Pinchot, grandmother of the author. Read morePublished on March 4, 2012 by Laurie A. Brown