The author of Park Avenue Summer throws back the curtain on one of the most remarkable feuds in history: Alva Vanderbilt and 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, a woman’s value comes from her pedigree, dowry, and most importantly, her connections. They have few rights and even less independence—what they do have, is society, and society is paramount. The more celebrated the hostess, the more powerful the woman. And none is more powerful than Caroline Astor—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 what’s truly at stake.
About the Author
Renée Rosen is the bestselling author of Park Avenue Summer, Windy City Blues, White Collar Girl, What the Lady Wants and Dollface. She is also the author of Every Crooked Pot, a YA novel published in 2007. Renée lives in Chicago.
“Rosen’s novel opens with a sly wink to that grande dame of the Gilded Age, Edith Wharton, before she deftly spins a captivating tale of her own, based upon the legendary rivalry between Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt. And what a rich story it is, full of opulent balls and monstrous mansions, yet firmly rooted in the parallel struggles of two very different heroines as they fight for their dignity and rights as wives, as mothers, and as women.” —Fiona Davis, bestselling author of GMA Book Club Pick The Lions of Fifth Avenue
"As ever, Rosen shines with impeccable research and eloquent prose. Readers will relish this peek behind the curtain of New York’s most rich and famous families and follow with interest, amusement and even shock, the escapades of these strong and savvy women. Enjoy!” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Girls of Paris
“Both an intimate portrait of two intriguing women and a sweeping depiction of Gilded Age society. Rosen’s characters leap off the page with vivid description and poignant emotion. Richly detailed and meticulously researched—historical fiction readers will love The Social Graces!” —Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Train to Key West
“By turns tender and devastating, this beautifully written novel kept me in thrall to the end.” —Kerri Maher, author of The Girl in White Gloves
“Renée Rosen at her finest! Pulling back the curtain on the blood-sport world of Gilded Age high society, Rosen’s captivating story of rivals Alva Vanderbilt and Caroline Astor shows what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object.” —Bryn Turnbull, author of The Woman Before Wallis
"Meticulously researched and absolutely absorbing, The Social Graces chronicles the eye-popping extravagances and catty magnificence of the brassy nouveau riches who fought to seize control of high society during the Gilded Age. I can’t remember the last book that made me gasp “Oh, no!” as many times at unexpected reversals. The pages all but turned themselves!" —Julia Claiborne Johnson bestselling author of Be Frank With Me
"Rosen once again brings history to life with vivid storytelling and impeccable research. Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt are formidable opponents as old money clashes with new money in the battle to reign among New York’s upper crust. Rosen shares the details of their infamous parties, the salaciousness of society's scandals as well the small, personal moments that show their humaneness and vulnerability. This is a must read for historical and/or women’s fiction fans.” —Lauren Margolin, The Good Book Fairy