Gossipy glamour

Homage to Babe Paley
The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
3 words: gossipy, insider, glamorous
Dang, she’s good.
Melanie Benjamin impressed the living daylights out of me with The Aviator’s Wife.
And now she’s done it again with this book.
She has a remarkable talent for researching people’s lives and then channeling them in the most believable way.
The Swans of Fifth Avenue is an insider look at Truman Capote and his “swans”–the glamorous, extraordinarily wealthy women he befriended and then dissed in spectacular fashion.
In print.
Dude thought he could get away with it. (Ha!)
The novel gives both points of view, so we get inside the minds of both Capote and the various women he betrayed. (You can tell whose side I’m on.)
And it all feels very real and immediate and gossipy.
None of the characters are particularly likable, but this book pulled me in, anyway.
It was a bit like reading Us Weekly.
And even though the characters were not terribly appealing, their vulnerabilities were on full display, so at least I felt sympathy for them. Those poor, wealthy women, with their lonely lives and meaningless marriages.
So, yeah. This book is gossipy, but it’s also sad.
A wonderful work of truthful fiction.

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