You may have heard of Marjorie Merriweather Post. The woman who built Mar-a-Largo. The daughter of C.W. Post, the cereal king and heiress to his vast fortune. The mother of actress Dina Merrill. But there’s so much more to this remarkable woman. And thankfully author Allison Pataki has researched her well-lived life and has written The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post.
Born in 1887, Marjorie was the only daughter to a man who made his fortune in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was smart and pretty. And grew to be one of the richest women in the country. Along the way, she married four times, had three daughters and lived quite a life. She became a philanthropist as well as the consummate hostess to presidents, dignitaries and celebrities. And at the same time, she helped run the Postum Cereal Company (later changed to General Foods Corporation) mostly from behind the scenes as it was impossible for a woman to hold any visible corporate position during her era. With all her wealth, status and influence, the one area she could not seem to succeed in was finding the right man to love.
I’ve since gone down the rabbit hole reading lots more about Ms. Post and viewing photos of her amazing homes and her vast artwork collection. Her mansion at Hillwood in Washington, DC, now a museum, holds a collection of about ninety pieces of Fabergé, including two imperial Easter eggs. The story of how she was able to acquire all these Russian treasures is described in the book.
Told in the first person, from the perspective of Ms. Post, Pataki has created a rich work of historical fiction that does justice to this grand woman. Many thanks to Ballantine Books, Random House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this highly entertaining book in advance of its publication.
Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: February 15, 2022.
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