The Swans of Fifth Avenue

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

A Novel

eBook - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
23
1
1
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Aviator's Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York's "Swans" of the 1950s—and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.People's Book of the Week • USA Today's #1 "New and Noteworthy" Book • Entertainment Weekly's Must ListLibraryReads Top Ten Pick 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.Praise for The Swans of Fifth Avenue"Exceptional storytelling . . . teeming with scandal, gossip and excitement."—Harper's Bazaar "This moving fictionalization brings the whole cast of characters back to vivid life. Gossipy and fun, it's also a nuanced look at the beauty and cruelty of a rarefied, bygone world."—People"The era and the sordid details come back to life in this jewel of a novel."—O: The Oprah Magazine "A catty, juicy read that's like a three-martini lunch."—USA Today "[Captures] the mesmerizing sparkle and scandal of New York high society in the 1950s."—Chicago Tribune"Tantalizing . . . Readers will fall into a world of glitz, glamour and the exciting life of the rich and famous. The details and conversations are so rich, you may forget you're reading a novel."—Associated Press "Highly entertaining."—The Washington Post "Take Gossip Girl and move it to the 50s."—theSkimm"The strange and fascinating relationship between Capote and his 'swans' is wonderfully reimagined in this engrossing novel"—Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants "Your next must-read book-club selection."—Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetFrom the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: 2016
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Reproduction: Electronic reproduction. New York : Delacorte Press, 2016. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 2330 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB)
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc
ISBN: 9780345539755

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

ArapahoeAnnaL Oct 07, 2018

Fun to read, this historical novel brings to life high society in New York City mid 20th century. There's Babe Paley with her gang and Truman Capote. Who were these people and what made them tick?

s
suekrachko
Aug 15, 2018

Fascinating and beautifully written historical fiction about NYC society in the 1950s - 1970s. The poignant and heartbreaking relationship between fashion icon Babe Paley and acclaimed author Truman Capote highlights the story. Enjoyed every chapter.

k
KatherineHere
Jun 09, 2018

What you would expect: trivial, shallow, irrelevant, wasteful, and fascinating.

e
EmilyEm
Feb 01, 2018

Truman Capote and the fabulously wealthy 'women who lunch' he seduced with his charm, ingratiating himself into their lonely lives. To me, these were the backstories of the fashionable paper dolls I played with in the 1950s. Guilty pleasure.

m
mswrite
May 24, 2017

Affected, diminutive Truman Capote and tall, elegant New York socialite Barbara "Babe" Paley were a true Odd Couple, the strangest yet ultimately most compelling love story I think I've ever read. And they really did seem to love one another, to understand one another in ways no one else did, which makes Truman's betrayal almost incomprehensible. (Almost. The seeds can be found in his bleak, chaotic childhood.)

After the astounding success of his 1965 true crime masterwork "In Cold Blood," and his Black & White Ball, the fabulous, over-the-top 1966 gala to end all galas he gave ostensibly for Washington Post publisher Kay Graham but really for himself, Capote seemed ever more desperate to prove to the world (and especially himself) that he still had the gift of serious writing. In 1975 began to publish in Esquire magazine installments of another true-life story, this one a thinly-veiled, gossipy tell-all that spilled the secrets of his famous friends. Though his appalled writer friends tried to warn him, Truman blithely assumed his swans and their husbands would never recognize themselves.

He could not have been more wrong, and therein lies the wrenching climax of Melanie Benjamin's lyrical, poignant tale. Highly recommended.

c
ctkvlk
Mar 08, 2017

Fascinating look into the lives of Truman Capote and his harem. Not so interested in him but got a good history on Babe Paley and others of whom I'd heard but knew little about. It's a novelization but enough fact within to make it educational.

g
Ginger_44
Jan 13, 2017

Historical fiction novels are my absolute favorite to read. This one was no exception. In fact, I felt this book was in a whole other plane compared to all the other historical fiction I've read. Similar to Villa America by Liza Klaussman, this book was about how riches and glamour and fame all eventually fall away to a sad and insecure inner existence. Impeccably written, this book was quite honestly a life-changer for me; by the time the book was finished, I was in tears and left heartbroken about these characters who only focused on wealth, beauty, and gossip throughout their life, yet finding they'd still be turned to dust at the ends of their lives like all the rest of us. The Swans of Fifth Avenue was not only written exquisitely, but also with endless literary components that are bound to engross readers. The metaphors and themes and, in a way, satire, was used so effectively. Five out of five stars. A must read.

ArapahoeLesley Nov 22, 2016

A glimpse into a part of history and high living society that I never have known much about. Like the author wrote in her afterword I am very much inspired to learn more about Babe Paley, Slim Keith, Gloria Guinness etc... and most of all to finally read In Cold Blood which I've owned but left unread for ages. I can't claim to have liked anyone, least of all Truman Capote but Melanie Benjamin's passion for her subject shows through and made this an entertaining and enlightening read.

p
PinesandPrejudice
Oct 13, 2016

I wasn't a fan of this. I didn't see the point of their story and didn't feel sympathy or interest in these characters. I understand the time period and appreciate the fact that these stories are told but it wasn't my cup of tea. I was just waiting for it to be over -- I felt like it should have ended a lot sooner than it did.

p
pogags
Oct 03, 2016

Fantastic storytelling from the author of The Aviator's Wife, this story sweeps from one end of Fifth Ave to the other, capturing all the political, racial and cultural mores of the '50-'60s.

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

cals_readers Mar 10, 2016

It was a beacon, a spire, a beacon on top of a spire.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Skokie Public Library

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top