2016 Book #6 – The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

413Jo9GzA2LTitle: The Swans of Fifth Avenue
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Date finished: 1/23/16
Genre: Fiction, biographical fiction
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: January 26, 2016
Pages in book: 368
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends—the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman—a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.
Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls “True Heart,” Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller—even when the stories aren’t his to tell.
Truman’s fame is at its peak when such notable celebrities as Frank and Mia Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Rose Kennedy converge on his glittering Black and White Ball. But all too soon, he’ll ignite a literary scandal whose repercussions echo through the years. The Swans of Fifth Avenue will seduce and startle readers as it opens the door onto one of America’s most sumptuous eras.

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a book that is published in 2016” square, since this book will be published this coming Tuesday. I had heard a lot about this book over the last couple months so when I saw it on NetGalley I requested it right away. This book is about a set of socialites from New York City and their friendship with author Truman Capote from the 1950’s to the 1970’s. What I thought was really interesting about this book was that it was based on the lives and known facts about real people, with some embellishing thrown in there to connect all the dots. All the people mentioned in the book though are real people, you can read about their lives and their actual friendship with Truman Capote and many of the characters have actual biographies you can read.
Overall I very much liked this book. The characters were all interesting and the story line was just scandalous. There was so much juicy gossip within the book it was hard to put it down. Also I thought the story of Truman and Babe’s friendship was truly touching and heart breaking in the end. This book gives the reader a window into the lives of the elite of the social world of New York City during the 1950’s and 1960’s. Where everything is glamour and glitz and the best that money can buy. And while it is nice to be able to do whatever you want when you have all the money in the world, according to this story it comes with a price. Cheating, lies, deceit. All are very prevalent in this story, to the point where the reader starts to pity these swans for the things they’ve all wanted in life but can never seem to have – love, happiness, a sense of belonging, people you can count on. The details of these socialite’s lives are spread through the pages of this book, and while the reader may feel sadness for these characters who can never seem to find love, the story is still entirely entrancing in its scandal and glamour.

The bottom line: I would definitely definitely recommend this book. I was riveted throughout the story, the whole thing was simply scandalous! Great story and especially interesting that its based around so many facts and actual history.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page