The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin; published 2015 by Delacorte Press
The best books hook you from the start, and leave you thinking about them long after “the end.” I was entranced with Melanie Benjamin’s storytelling savvy in The Aviator’s Wife, and as soon as I started the first page of this book, she had me again.
It’s 1975, and Truman Capote is in trouble. Somehow, he’s betrayed his swans, the most well-bred, sought after queens of New York society. The skeletons in their closet have been exposed, and their reputations damaged. They even accuse him of murder. We jump back to 1955, when Truman was young and svelte and peppy—society’s darling. His lisp and exuberance were endearing, if affected. Everyone loved Truman. The women loved Truman because he pampered them, shared gossip, loved clothes as much as they did, and said the things they often couldn’t. Their husbands also enjoyed Truman’s company because he knew when to drop his affectations just enough to put the men at ease. In Benjamin’s portrayal, Truman is brilliantly adaptable—and expert at hiding his true self.Continue Reading