The Astor Orphan by Alexandra Aldrich
A Memoir

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“The Astor Orphans” is wearying, gorgeous, ugly, sad, bohemian and only mildly sordid or scandalous by TV or literary standards...Much happens but nothing changes because it isn’t a novel. In the end, the heroine gets away. The End.
-Star Tribune

Synopsis

The Astor Orphan is an unflinching debut memoir by a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor, Alexandra Aldrich.

She brilliantly tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her brave escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left.

Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that bring this faded world into focus, The Astor Orphan is written with the grit of The Glass Castle and set amid the aristocratic decay of Grey Gardens.

 

About Alexandra Aldrich

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Alexandra Aldrich, a direct Astor descendent, lived at Rokeby, the house at the heart of this story, until the age of fourteen, when she left to attend boarding school. She studied violin and history in Poland and moved back to the United States where she taught high school English and converted to Orthodox Judaism.
 
Published April 16, 2013 by Ecco. 275 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Astor Orphan
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Star Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by Eric Hanson on Apr 11 2013

“The Astor Orphans” is wearying, gorgeous, ugly, sad, bohemian and only mildly sordid or scandalous by TV or literary standards...Much happens but nothing changes because it isn’t a novel. In the end, the heroine gets away. The End.

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