Monday, September 1, 2014

Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.

Title: Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguett Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
Author: Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
Pages (File Size): 496 (11.4 MB)
Published: 2013
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, E-Book, Chunkster, Non-fiction, I Love Libraries
Genre: Non-Fiction, History, Biography
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: When Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money? (from Goodreads)

Thoughts: It was definitely an interesting book, in that it one learned about the uber-rich and the strange lives that some of these individuals have lived.  Other than the odd bits of fascinating information about the Clark family, I felt that the language was simplistic at times and felt that Ms. Clark was portrayed as being a bit too sympathetic at times.  I also felt that the author never really delved too much into Ms. Clark's life and treated her with kid gloves.

Bottom line:  It was definitely an intriguing story and was worth reading.  If you are interested in learning about those who are a bit odd or even those who are/were uber-rich, then I would recommend this book for you.  Recommended.

Rating: 3/5

Pages for 2014: 16,801

If you have read this book, what did you think about it?
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