Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As I grow older, I seem to find more inspiration in works of non-fiction. The research and depth of exploration in books like EMPTY MANSIONS have the ability to make me question what I thought I knew about the world.
On the other hand, I don't think there IS another book quite like EMPTY MANSIONS. Why didn't I love history when I was in school? How did the teachers manage to make it so dry and unappealing? Here it is a page turner, non-fiction that reads like fiction.
EMPTY MANSIONS is a modern day fairy tale. It begins with the magical tale of W.A.Clark and how he amassed his incredible fortune in copper mining and ends with the death of his daughter Huguette at the age of 104 in 2011. The eccentricities of Huguette's life and how the fortune was managed and spent is as fascinating as it is distressing.
And what about those empty mansions, bought and abandoned? They are the stuff of imagination and exploration. How many dreams have been filled with room after room of delight?
What is amazing to contemplate is that Huguette was witness to everything from the sinking of the Titanic (the family had tickets for the second sailing) to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11. She lived her life as a recluse and ultimately spent her last years in hospital. And everyone wanted something from her. That something was money. Obscene amounts of money.
Bottom Line: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Title: Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
Author: Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr.
Publisher: Ballantine Books
No. of Pages: 496 pages
Copyright: September 10, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Hardback copy loaned by a friend who knew I wanted to read it.
Bill Dedman is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, an investigative reporter for NBC News, and co-author of the No. 1 bestselling book "Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune." Wikipedia
Paul Clark Newell Jr., cousin of Huguette Clark and grand nephew of Senator William Andrews Clark (Huguette's father), is one of the few persons admitted into regular communication with with the reclusive Huguette in the last 20 years of her life. (Source: Amazon)
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