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!Free Kindle ⚒ A Lady of Good Family ☹ From the author of The Beautiful American comes a richly imagined, beautifully written novel about historical figure Beatrix Farrand, one of the first female landscape architects Raised among wealth and privilege during America s fabled Gilded Age, a niece of famous novelist Edith Wharton and a friend to literary great Henry James, Beatrix Farrand is expected to marry, and marry well But as a young woman traveling through Europe with her mother and aunt, she already knows that gardens are her true passion How this highborn woman with unconventional views escapes the dictates of society to become the most celebrated female landscape designer in the country is the story of her unique determination to create beauty and serenity while remaining true to herself Beatrix s journey begins at the age of twenty three in the Borghese Gardens of Rome, where she meets beguiling Amerigo Massimo, an Italian gentleman of sensitivity and charm a man unlike any she has known before I received this a first read This was a lovely book I was not aware of Beatrix Farrand However, enjoyed reading about her She accomplish much in her life I also truly enjoy the author writing style She makes you care as much about the secondary characters as the main I also enjoyed how she dealt with the historical time period All in all a solid read. Vikki s MusingsI accepted this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review A Lady of Good Family is a glimpse of what the later days of the Gilded Age must have been like in Europe and America A time of privilege for member of society and the beginnings of the Nouveau Riche told in third person narrative by a fictional character to a group of friends in Massachusetts It is the story of a remarkable woman, Beatrix Jones Farrand, a renowned landscape artist It cov Vikki s MusingsI accepted this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review A Lady of Good Family is a glimpse of what the later days of the Gilded Age must have been like in Europe and America A time of privilege for member of society and the beginnings of the Nouveau Riche told in third person narrative by a fictional character to a group of friends in Massachusetts It is the story of a remarkable woman, Beatrix Jones Farrand, a renowned landscape artist It covers a visit to the continent to view the famous gardens in the various countries in 1895 and ends in 1920.While Beatrix explores Borghese Gardens of Rome, she meets Amarigo Massimo, a man different from any other gentleman of her acquaintance She is drawn to him, but knows he is not the man for her However, she is young and wants to fall in love, so she encourages a relationship Will the mystic of this man prove her downfall, or will reason win out Beatrix is a fascinating woman who did not let the dictates of society rule her choices or her life She chose a path very few women in her time would ever follow She did not marry as a young woman, just to conform to the times where women were not supposed to work outside the home While she did marry in her mid life, she chose a man for the reason of mutual companionship and someone who would not expect her to change the way she lived her life She is well known for her incredible work designing Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, the Beatrix Farrand Garden at Bellefield in Hyde Park, New York and Dumbarton Oaks, Washington D.C to name a few.While a fictional romantic thread runs through the story, which is very enjoyable and one that could have easily happened during this period of history, it is not the main focus of the book This is definitely not a romance, even though it does tell of a love story This story delves into the typical marriages of the times and many of them were not happy ones It deals with divorce when the dissolution of a marriage created a huge scandal and was always the woman s fault It is no wonder Beatrix chose to avoid marriage for so long What I struggled with while reading this book was the lack of any explanation of some of the characters in the story Since it is told through the eyes of Daisy Winters, I also did not become invested in the characters and at times had a hard time following along with the story While the description of the various gardens is vivid, I did not become enraptured with them either However, that is because I am not a gardener I am sure anyone who loves gardening and gardens will enjoy the descriptions greatly.While I did not find this book to my tastes, it is beautifully written and gave me a marvelous look into an age long past Anyone who loves history and learning about an era that has not had a lot of attention will enjoy A Lady of Good Family Happy reading This is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a very long time.The story is of the early life of Beatrix Jones Farrand who was a real person She was an extremely talented landscape architect in the early part of the 20th century Her talent was so well known she not only designed gardens for private homes but also was the landscaper for Princeton University forthan 30 years She did garden designing at the White House She was a success in her field at a time when women This is one of the most beautifully written books I have read in a very long time.The story is of the early life of Beatrix Jones Farrand who was a real person She was an extremely talented landscape architect in the early part of the 20th century Her talent was so well known she not only designed gardens for private homes but also was the landscaper for Princeton University forthan 30 years She did garden designing at the White House She was a success in her field at a time when women were not expected to be a success in such an obvious manner.Beatrix was from a wealthy family Her future normally would have been to marry well and become a wife and mother That was not the choice she made and it is evident the world was a better place because of the choice she made.This is a novel which includes not only Beatrix but her aunt Edith Wharton, the author Henry James and her mother They were all very real people Because these lives were well documented, the fact and fiction are woven together seamlessly.The story itself is of Beatrix and Daisy, a woman who is Beatrix s best friend During one of her tours of Europe, Beatrix meets an Italian man who seems to be a perfect person to be in her life, but there are many barriers in the way Daisy is a wealthy woman who is married with children, but her marriage is very unhappy.In fact, for me there were too many people in this story who were very unhappy The writing flows beautifully The characters are very well defined The plot is a creative masterpiece But, I yearned to see happiness These people were living lives that were extremely elevated above what was normal for the Gilded Age Most people in the world before WWI were living lives that were very difficult Yet, it seems that not a one of these comfortable people could find happiness I loved the expressive writing, but I simply could not become enthusiastic about the story of so much unhappiness.I received this book from the publisher in the hope that I would write a fair and honest review All opinions are my own The shaping of a world class American garden artist Beatrix Jones Farrand 1895 1920 told from Lenox, Massachusetts in backstories to Old World European and British gardens Are you thinking, who is Beatrix Jones Farrand If you ve ever admired the elegant gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, or the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine, or Bellefield on FDR s Presidential Museum and Library site in Hyde Park, New York, or Yale s Memorial Quadrangle gardens some 20 The shaping of a world class American garden artist Beatrix Jones Farrand 1895 1920 told from Lenox, Massachusetts in backstories to Old World European and British gardens Are you thinking, who is Beatrix Jones Farrand If you ve ever admired the elegant gardens at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, or the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine, or Bellefield on FDR s Presidential Museum and Library site in Hyde Park, New York, or Yale s Memorial Quadrangle gardens some 200 public and private gardens then you ve delighted in the aesthetic legacy of Beatrix Jones Farrand You just weren t aware that these artistically landscaped gardens were designed by a pioneering woman, considered one of the most influential American landscape architects of the 20th century Thanks to the author s gardening passion echoed by countless others, see here and here , you ll find A Lady of Good Family unfolds and blooms in its own delight.The first pleasing seeds are planted when you learn that two of the lady s Gilded Age connections were those wonderful chroniclers of the clash between the Old World and the New Edith Wharton, Beatrix s aunt Wharton likened her writing to a secret garden and Henry James, Beatrix s friend So too does Jeanne Mackin s newest historical novel transport us back to the attitudes and customs of the gilded era at home and abroad, bumping Beatrix s New World aspirations devoted to designing magnificent gardens that fit naturally into landscapes Beatrix s real history up against an imagined Old World romantic love the novel s fictional heart history Your transporter our narrator is Daisy Winters, whose delighting, reminiscing prose flows like daisies danced in the breeze My namesake flower She s a fictionalized confidante of both Beatrix and her kindly mother, Minnie We trust Daisy s storytelling about Beatrix s heart because all three were close enough in age to be believable good friends and we re privy to Beatrix s warm, heart to heart letters to Daisy When the novel opens, Beatrix is 23, Daisy 33, Minnie 47.Daisy s vehicle for confiding Beatrix s life is told mostly as porch conversations she s having with three strangers she s met at an inn in the Berkshires, where she s staying for a week It s nicely situated near Edith Wharton s white mansion summer home, The Mount some gardens were designed by Beatrix Sometimes Daisy interrupts her recollections with fond and melancholy glimpses into her own life and heart While she greatly admires Beatrix, there s regrets and jealousy too Without giving anything away, suffice it to say that Daisy s character adds the perfect intellectual twist to the author s creative intermingling of famous historical figures and details with famous literary ones.Beatrix, you ve gathered, came from a privileged, well connected East Coast family But like her understated landscape style, she didn t flaunt herself she wore her wealthlightly than most Rather, she quietly dazzled with her Titian colored hair and pale grey eyes full of sweetness and coloratura singing voice An only child adored by her mother, whose sincere charity mindedness instilled a lifelong commitment to doing good works Daisy is also socially minded, as she s just returned from Tennessee, the last State to grant voting rights to women Beatrix, who found her life s calling early on in spite of prevailing societal beliefs that a woman s place belongs in the home, translated her mother s ideals to give back to the world through the pleasure and beauty of designing beatific, spirited gardens It isn t enough to be beautiful A garden must meet the needs of the soul as well as the senses You feel at home and somehow enlarged,yourself, in a good garden Most of all the garden must suit the land It was a philosophy of life as well as gardening pleasure combined with work, beauty with practicality The garden would both calm and awaken senses and memory Beatrix felt deeply that there is nosensual activity than gardening, so she couldn t envision herself as the marrying type Her determination and independent spirit were also fueled by a lack of close up, positive role models for marriage Her father, Frederic, Wharton s brother, was a floundering gambler Edith s marriage to Teddy was unhappy eventually they divorced Daisy, our outgoing and intimately chatty narrator, a mother of six who does not take well to a solitary life, is unrealistically optimistic about her also gambling husband and Henry James, who never married, his sexuality affecting his novels, cautioned Beatrix and Daisy about making impulsive romantic decisions Beatrix also keenly understood reputation is a woman s most important possession This is the mindset of the lovely young lady we re introduced to when she embarks with her mother on a transformative journey studying and sketching some of the grandest gardens in Italy, France, Germany, and England at the encouragement of Beatrix s horticulture professor, Charles Sprague Sargent, founder of Harvard s Arnold Arboretum.Where else should the novel s dreamed up, dreamy romance be sown than a very proper, formal Old World garden In this case, the Villa Borghese gardens in Rome, which is where Beatrix encounters a mannerly, shy Italian, Amerigo Marrismo, who is as enchanted by Beatrix s newness as she is with his look as honest as the sun But his is an Old World timelessness and Beatrix has set her sights on the New, thus setting up Beatrix s inner turmoil The novel s tension persists as the two keep meeting in other European cities amid Beatrix s horticultural travels, where Amerigo is chasing after a little family business Offering a playful contrast to the refinement of the old moneyed, upper class society of the Jones and the Whartons is another fabricated character, Mrs Haskett She s the obnoxious one, representing the nouveau riche, an American mother desperate to find suitable husbands for her three daughters She s also key to Amerigo s popping up everywhere Beatrix is, making it impossible to forget him.Accompanying the charm and allure of the couple s old fashioned infatuation is the author s depiction of gardening as metaphors for life Chapters are introduced by three prologues, each summoning messages about the arc of the novel and,poignantly, about life It s these tidbits of wisdom attached to flowers, plants, and gardening that shine throughout A few examples Creeping speedwell evokes a life that is full of uncertainty and unexpected happenings An old apothecary rose signifies life is not to be taken for granted Daisy s storytelling is not embellished, the same way gardeners know better than to force excessive color or outrageous shapes into a flower bed For trustworthiness and the simple goodness of life the gardener is advised to nurture the while alba rose, known for its constancy Life was, after all, an experiment What is the planting of a single desiccated seed if not an experiment in hope Life and landscapes require flexibility and a touch of serendipity A single plant does not constitute a garden, anythan a single decision constitutes a lifetime Walk a garden path and you walk a kind of eternity Just as Beatrix left us lasting, pleasurable gardens, the novel leaves us lasting pleasures You can t wait to read or re read Edith Wharton and Henry James, touch the earth, and contemplate what type of garden exemplifies the landscapes of your life.Lorraine EnchantedProse.com Interesting Had actually never heard of this lady brfore the book Verry informative Won on goodreads. As told by her fictional good friend Daisy Winters, this is a sweet story of Beatrix Jones Farrand, one of the world s first female landscape architects It touched a lot on the lives and social structures of New York s elite class of the early 1900 s, and the pressures of having to marry well and keeping up appearances It was a time when a society wife was still considered her husband s property, and was treated no better than a decoration After witnessing the humiliation and heartbreak of As told by her fictional good friend Daisy Winters, this is a sweet story of Beatrix Jones Farrand, one of the world s first female landscape architects It touched a lot on the lives and social structures of New York s elite class of the early 1900 s, and the pressures of having to marry well and keeping up appearances It was a time when a society wife was still considered her husband s property, and was treated no better than a decoration After witnessing the humiliation and heartbreak of both her mother s and her aunt s failed marriages, Beatrix was determined to make something of herself, shunning marriage, and ignoring the expectations that society had at that time for a young socialite I thought of the world we had created, the world of Lily Bart and Henry James poor unnamed governess, where women believed they must marry, and if they did not, they were mere weeds in other people s gardens, things to be plucked and discarded It thought it was interesting how Beatrix s story was told through her friend Daisy Daisy s own bittersweet story was intertwined in the tale as well, as she related it in a series of flashbacks to an intimate group of fellow hotel guests There were a lot of historical figures thrown in the story Edith Wharton and Henry James, amongst others I love historical fiction and love when a story gets me researching I spent much time looking up old photos and reading about the lives of Beatrix Jones Farrand and Edith Wharton, Henry James, and the locations mentioned such as the Mount in Lenox I found myself needing to find quiet moments to read this I loved the author s soft quiet voice and slow, pretty storytelling This is a must for gardeners and lovers of Edith Wharton and Henry James work.My favorite part was when Beatrix was sitting on a bench in the public gardens in Rome and was driven to distraction trying not to lean over to pull a weed growing in the flower bed right next to her Been there This book was ok Beatrix Farrand was certainly a fascinating character, and including names like Henry James, Edith Wharton, Roosevelt, etc certainly gilded the cast However, the way the story was set up, a ghost story being told many years after the fact, in the context of the women s suffragette movement, and as a story being relayed while sitting on a porch, just didn t work for me The transitions between Beatrix s story and that of Mrs Winters is choppy, many of the metaphors feel This book was ok Beatrix Farrand was certainly a fascinating character, and including names like Henry James, Edith Wharton, Roosevelt, etc certainly gilded the cast However, the way the story was set up, a ghost story being told many years after the fact, in the context of the women s suffragette movement, and as a story being relayed while sitting on a porch, just didn t work for me The transitions between Beatrix s story and that of Mrs Winters is choppy, many of the metaphors feel forced, and it is one of those books where I just don t really like any of the characters very much Liking the characters is by no means a prerequisite of liking a book, but this one didn t have superb writing, plot line, or style to make up for it It makes a mediocre beach read, but doesn t deserve a place on any sort of literary bookshelf 2.5 stars.poorly written I thought this book was a good story but there was a bit too much going on I almost put it down after the first two chapters the start is very confusing as there is no clear path as to what is going on and why you are meeting these people I think it just neededediting at the beginning Once you get past Chapter 3 or 4 it settles down and you can follow it, but its a shame as I m sure a lot of people would give up.