I received a gifted galley of THE SOCIAL GRACES by Renée Rosen for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review!
Publication Date: 4/20/2021
Rating: 4 / 5
THE SOCIAL GRACES is set in Manhattan in the late 1800s. In a time dominated by men, women have the social sphere to control with a constant battle to outdo each other, flaunting their wealth and their pedigree. Caroline Astor is the reigning queen of society having learned the role from her mother.
Alva Vanderbilt is new on the social scene, having recently married into the Vanderbilt family, but she is looked down upon by the elite old money crowd. Alva is determined to make her way into society even if it means bending convention or breaking it outright.
This was a really fun read and it made for a great discussion book as well. I wouldn’t say any of the characters were extremely likable and this social sphere is very much removed from life as I know it. Still, it is easy to see echos of the world we live in still where wealth and power and notoriety are things people desperately clamor for.
I did enjoy seeing how the characters changed over time and I did grow to appreciate them more as we got deeper into their stories. While the over the top all night parties were fun to read about, I think the focus on the behind the scenes lives of these women was equally if not more fascinating. Knowing that these were real women from history added a lot to that as well.
This is a fantastic read for the historical fiction fans and I loved getting a glimpse of a very different world from mine! THE SOCIAL GRACES is out today!