Friday, May 15, 2009

Debutante: the Story of Brenda Frazier by Gioia Diliberto

The weather's definitely hot now, and here in Florida we're starting to get those refreshing afternoon thunderstorms. You know what this means, summer's here--not according to the calendar, mind you, just according to our frizzy hair and sweaty clothes. Summer's the time for a good beach read, and I recommend the biography Debutante: the Story of Brenda Frazier. I read this about twelve years ago; I found it on my mother-in-law's bookshelf and ended up reading the entire book on the six hour drive home. Brenda Frazier was one of the lesser known "poor little rich girls." Diliberto's book about her is the only one out there, I think. Frazier's over the top debutante festivities put her on the cover of Life magazine in 1939. She was part of New York's cafe society, lounging at El Morocco with fashionably white skin and red lips. After her debut, it will come as no surprise that things seemed to go downhill for Brenda--two failed marriages, nervous breakdowns. She ended up a recluse, dying of cancer in 1982. Why would I want to read this book, you may ask. Well, I'll tell you--it's deliciously written, easy to read, and it imparts that satisfying message that we all know is true, even if today's world insists otherwise: money ain't everything, and if you think it is, you're in for a sorry life.

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