The intensely erotic diary of a beautiful young heiress, Starr Faithfull, whose battered body washes up on a New York beach, recreates the illicit affair between a child and her cousin, a prominent Boston politician, in a story based on a real-life case. 50,000 first printing. Tour.
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This ludicrous recreation of an early 20th century diary by poor-little-rich-girl Vanderbilt (Never Say Goodbye, 1989, etc.) proves definitively that being famous is in no way equivalent to being talented. Despite her fatuous name, Starr Faithfull was an actual person whose mysterious death in 1931 led the police to discover her diary, which revealed that her cousin Andrew J. Peters, who had served as mayor of Boston, had sexually abused her beginning when she was 11 and he was 45. After the investigation, the journal disappeared. Vanderbilt begins in 1917 on Faithfull's 11th birthday, and the sugary tone that poisons all the entries is immediately apparent. Faithfull soon begins pretentiously calling her journal a ``Memory Book'' and addressing it directly as ``Mem.'' Daily incidents are reported fastidiously, punctuated with plenty of phrases like ``Oh Mem, I can't wait!'' and other fey touches meant to lend little-girl innocence. Faithfull comes across as a simpering brat (``Lucy Edwina and I are the most important girls in school now that Cousin A. is mayor of Boston''), and her repetitiously similar upper-crust tales of Christmas and dancing school all run together. Even the abuse by Peters (whom Faithfull nicknames ``Fou'' because those are his initials in a secret code that she created) is meaningless fluff from this spoiled child's point of view. He plies her with a bottled substance (presumably ether) that Faithfull refers to as ``creamy dreamy'' because of the sensations it causes, and engages her in games of ``make the corn grow.'' Occasionally Vanderbilt appears to recall that this is meant to be a historical novel, so she has Faithfull pen a line like ``A very terrible thing has happened in Russia, Mem. The Bolsheviks executed Czar Nicholas II and all his family.'' In 1924 Faithfull moves from Boston to New York City, where she starts hanging out with a bad crowd, then becomes obsessed with a man. Hers is a sad, perhaps even interesting story that deserved better treatment. Painfully shallow. (Literary Guild selection) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Starr Faithful was a reticent, studious and beautiful young woman whose death in 1931 at age 25 gave rise to rumors of sexual misconduct. Vanderbilt (Never Say Good-bye) makes a misguided attempt to recreate the mysterious Starr's diary, which she called her "Memory Book," and which disappeared shortly after her death. Beginning when she is 11, Starr writes to "Mem," chronicling her maturation as affected by the erotic obsession of her cousin Andrew J. Peters, Boston's Social Register mayor 34 years Starr's senior. His avuncular interest in her education veils years of damaging sexual exploitation before Starr's social-climbing mother learns the truth. Starr's breakdown and subsequent delusional relationship with a ship's surgeon bring the guilty party to light. The flavors and excesses of post-WWI society are captured dead on here-with appearances by personalities (Aimee Semple McPherson, Carl Jung), places (the Cotton Club) and even ships (the Carpathia, the Franconia)-but these historical details cannot compensate for the novel's mundane portrayals and ultimately static tone. Moreover, Vanderbilt's period accuracy includes the cloying lingo perhaps favored by flappers but apt to prove nauseating to the modern reader (the ether that Starr's cousin uses to sedate her is termed "creamy dreamy"). As a psychological profile, this is intriguing guesswork-though a trivial and disappointing read. Literary Guild selection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Buchbeschreibung Knopf. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Fine. 0394587758 Near fine in near fine dust jacket. First edition Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Artikel-Nr. BING45924
Buchbeschreibung Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated, 1994. Hardcover. Buchzustand: Fine. Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Fine Dust Jacket. First Edition Signed. The dust jacket is creased at the outer edges. not price clipped. first edition stated. A novel on the scandal surrounding the death of a beautiful young socialite in 1931. signed "to Harper Sills with best wishes Gloria VanderbiltWe ship from the USA and Canada. Artikel-Nr. 11215