The Social Graces

by Renée Rosen

Paperback, 2021




Berkley (2021), 416 pages


Fictio Literatur Historical Fictio HTML:The USA Today Bestseller! Named one of 2021â??s Most Anticipated Historical Novels by Oprah Daily â?? SheReads â?? Frolic â?? BookReporter â?? and more... The author of Park Avenue Summer throws back the curtain on one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Alva Vanderbilt and the Mrs. Astor's notorious battle for control of New York society during the Gilded Age. 1876. In the glittering world of Manhattan's upper crust, women are valued by their pedigree, dowry, and, most importantly, connections. They have few rights and even less independenceâ??what they do have is society. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astorâ??the Mrs. Astor. But times are changing. Alva Vanderbilt has recently married into one of America's richest families. But what good is dizzying wealth when society refuses to acknowledge you? Alva, who knows what it is to have nothing, will do whatever it takes to have everything. Sweeping three decades and based on true events, this is the mesmerizing story of two fascinating, complicated women going head to head, behaving badly, and discovering w… (more)


½ (32 ratings; 3.7)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Cats57
Do you like good gossipy reads that happen to be fairly historically accurate? Except for some of the conversations, this book gives you a great story on how the Astors and the Vanderbilts (among others of their ilk) acted during the Gilded Age. As far as I'm concerned, this is when true helicopter
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parenting was invented, and they did it without social media (more's the pity!) Mother's today could take some lessons.
I've done a lot of reading about both families, and I think I can safely say that this book is accurate except for a few things.

I loved the gossipy backbiting, spite, greed, and everything else that this book gave me. A beach read? Most assuredly!

I have also read and reviewed Park Avenue Summer. I highly recommend this book to add to your summer reading list...especially if you grew up with the magazine Cosmopolitan.

* ARC supplied by the publisher, the author, and Edelweiss.
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LibraryThing member SilversReviews
How can you get yourself into the upper crust of society?

We find out, and we find out it isn't always the best place to be.

Those in the upper social circles must follow all the social rules and proper etiquette.

You can't marry who you love if they aren't in the social status deemed appropriate.

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can’t visit unless you have left a calling card.

We meet Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt - one woman who has control of society, and the other trying to get invited into society.

Both women went to great lengths to be on top and in the right circles. They also suffer personal tragedies along the way.

All the properness wasn't for me and the societal competition was intense as they tried to outdo each other with lavish homes and parties.

I couldn’t imagine following all those social protocols or those arranged marriages.

I actually chuckled at some of the “rules” they had to follow.

I did love the talk of fashions and gowns. I looked up Worth gowns...gorgeous.

I also looked up the Petite Chateau that was built by Alva Vanderbilt on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to outdo Caroline!!

Ms. Rosen once again brought the characters and how things were during this time to life.

Ms. Rosen’s as-always wonderful writing style and marvelous research will keep your interest as you read of the antics of these women and these times.

If you enjoy the Guilded age and seeing how the mega wealthy lived, you will enjoy SOCIAL GRACES. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member JanaRose1
In the late 1800's, the richest women of Manhattan are members of "society." A routined, well established hierarchy of rules and behavior. At the top is Caroline Astor, a refined woman who controls who is in and who is out. New money, Alva Vanderbilt is determined to do whatever it takes to join
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society and become one of the elite.

Absolutely fascinating, this book was hard to put down. I enjoyed reading both Caroline and Alva's points of view and loved how their worlds and desires overlapped. Towards the end the book skipped a lot of time, which was slightly disorienting, but worked to move the story forward. Overall, 5 out of 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member wagner.sarah35
There's just something fun about the rivalries of rich people and this novel captures the nineteenth-century tensions between Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt, two wealthy women who challenged each other. Alva, who married into the newly wealthy Vanderbilt family, found her desired place in
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society blocked by Caroline Astor, the accepted leader of New York high society and representative of the "old money" crowd. These two women circle each other, with ever more expensive ploys and with plenty of family scandals playing out around them, before gradually learning to accept one another. I've encountered these women before, but I did find this novel insightful, and overall it made for enjoyable reading.
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LibraryThing member Jynell
I loved reading The Social Graces by Renee Rosen! For just a moment, I felt as though I was in their shoes, arranging grand balls and luncheons... scheming for a place in society and sparing no expense. I also felt heartbroken for the way they were treated - as property rather than real women..
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This one is perfect if you're a fan of regency romance or Bridgerton, for example!
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LibraryThing member etxgardener
Who publishes this stuff? This is a mediocre novel of the feud between Caroline Ator and Alva Vanderbilt and their battle to see who would be Queen of New York Society. Nothing new here and the characters were poorly developed. A waste of time.


Original language


Physical description

8.24 inches


198480281X / 9781984802811
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