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A Well Behaved Woman
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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.

Reviews

"History comes alive in this immensely readable novel. Therese Anne Fowler takes us behind the velvet drapes of the Vanderbilt mansions in the late 19th century, exposing a world of passions and betrayal in which all is not as it seems. A Well-Behaved Woman is an extraordinary portrait of a strong, fascinating woman who rose above societal convention and even her own expectations to become so much more than anyone might have predicted." --Christina Baker Kline, New York Times Bestselling author of A Piece of the World and Orphan Train

"The story of Alva Vanderbilt is long overdue for a telling, but it was worth the wait. Therese Anne Fowler has brought this compelling, complex woman to such dynamic life that she leaps off the pages. This is a delicious book, as well as a timely one." --Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Girls in the Picture

"In another writer's hands, Alva Vanderbilt's immense wealth and carefully calculated life might have proved barriers to readerly sympathy. But Fowler's portrait is so nuanced, so complicated by context, and so informed by her own capacious generosity that we can't help being drawn in. A Well-Behaved Woman is a deeply and sympathetically imagined guess as to who Alva might have been. This is a wonderful book!"
-- Karen Joy Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

"The best biographical novels reveal a life we never expected to know, and here, in Fowler's jaw-droppingly brilliant A Well-Behaved Woman, she uncovers Alva Smith, who was supposed to be proper and conventional, but instead she not only launched the Vanderbilt's Guilded Age dynasty, but dug in her heels to defy her times in ways that were nothing short of revolutionary. Not just breathtakingly alive, but dazzlingly and profoundly timely. A must-read masterpiece." --Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, Is This Tomorrow, and Cruel Beautiful World

"A Well-Behaved Woman is a gem: a fascinating tale of Gilded Age manners and mores, and one remarkable woman's attempts to transcend them. Therese Anne Fowler, the immensely gifted writer who gave us all new insights into Zelda Fitzgerald in her novel, Z, has done it again for Alva Vanderbilt Belmont." --Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of The Flight Attendant

"Activist, egalitarian, philanthropist, trailblazer--these are the qualities of a historic leader. In A Well-Behaved Woman, Therese Fowler illuminates the leading legacy of American heiress Alva Vanderbilt. Alva's gumption and glamour will resonate with modern women and remind all that history belongs to those who courageously persevere. A sparkling, powerful story that needs to be heard now more than ever." --Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of Marilla of Green Gables and The Baker's Daughter

"To step into Therese Anne Fowler's stunning novel is to step into Alva Vanderbilt's rarefied world of sprawling homes, delicious society intrigue, and incomparable Gilded Age luxury. But there's so much more to this world than appearances would indicate--as Alva and the reader both learn. Fowler's heroine is drawn with care and complexity, a woman of exquisite taste and depth, and one who dares to dream beyond the stifling role which society has assigned her." --Allison Pataki, New York Times Bestselling author of 'The Accidental Empress'

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