Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Loveliest Woman in America

Blurb from the book jacket:

In 1927, at the age of twenty-three, Rosamond Pinchot was hailed as "The Loveliest Woman in America." At thirty-three, in a sudden, shocking, and highly public act, Rosamond took her own life, setting in motion generations of confusion in the family she left behind.

Nearly seventy years after her demise, her granddaughter Bibi received a box of more than 1,500 pages of Rosamond's diaries and embarked on a seven-year journey to make sense of the silence that surrounded Rosamond's death and to discover the grandmother she never knew.

The scrapbooks weren't small and colorful flipbooks people leave around the house so friends can take a peek at the kids; they were huge and heavy, embossed with her name, Rosamond Pinchot Gaston, in gold leaf across forest green covers. The letters are faded now, but through the scrapbooks, I came to know Rosamond like a character in a silent movie. The visuals were spectacular but the silence was deafening.

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