Book Review: Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American FortuneEmpty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fabulous book! I have made no secret of the fact that I’m not really into reading historical works. Real history, fictional history, just not my thing. But I loved this book. It is fascinating and interesting and it never felt like “history” but, rather, a really good story.

The book is about Huguette Clark, the last daughter of millionaire industrialist W.A. Clarke who made most of his wealth in copper.

The descriptions of the empty mansions and the life of the Clarks was awe inspiring. The jewelry, the artwork, the gatherings. But most endearing and readable was the information about Huguette herself.

Huguette had a sister who died when she was young, the sister only 17. After that she was extremely close to her mother, even more so after the passing of her father. Her mother wanted her to be married and she did marry briefly but ended up getting one of the first Las Vegas divorces. Huguette was a loving soul. She enjoyed children very much. She loved and collected dolls and miniature castles. She was an artist and a photographer. She outlived so many in her family, only recently passing in 2011 at the age of 105.

I highly recommend this book if you are interested in the history of America or learning of this wonderful woman who was seemingly a hermit but had many loving friendships over the years.

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