A Well-Behaved Woman: A Novel of the Vanderbilts (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews


Therese Anne Fowler, author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, once again writes an empowering tale of a famous, yet often forgotten, woman in history. A Well-Behaved Woman follows the fascinating life of Alva Smith, a woman who rises from post-Civil War poverty and marries into the newly wealthy Vanderbilt family. As "new money" families all across America continue to get rich quick, Alva expertly navigates the intricate and exclusive New York City society, laying the foundation for the Vanderbilt legacy we still know of today. Through successes and turmoil, Fowler gives the reader insight into what life was like for the outrageously wealthy in the late 19th century, and shows that money will almost certainly not lead to happiness.

— Caroline

December 2018 Indie Next List


“In her lifetime, Alva Smith Vanderbilt goes from being a Have to a Have-Not to a Have-It-All. Not content to just build spectacular mansions and host fabulous high-society balls, she uses her status and immense wealth to help the poverty-stricken, promote racial equality, and advocate for women’s rights in the courts and voting booths. As she did in Z, Therese Anne Fowler digs beyond the sensational and scandalous newspaper headlines and brings depth to her protagonist to show us a life well-lived.”
— Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

About the Author


THERESE ANNE FOWLER is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Raised in the Midwest, she moved to North Carolina in 1995. She holds a BA in sociology/cultural anthropology and an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781432857127
ISBN-10: 1432857126
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: November 28th, 2018
Pages: 646
Language: English