Adult Bestsellers.

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  • Language:
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    Publishers Weekly; 10/14/2019, Vol. 266 Issue 41, p16-17, 2p, 4 Charts
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    PWxyz LLC
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    • Publication Date:
      Essay last updated: 20191015
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      JURIS, C. Adult Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly, [s. l.], v. 266, n. 41, p. 16–17, 2019. Disponível em: Acesso em: 11 dez. 2019.
    • AMA:
      JURIS C. Adult Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly. 2019;266(41):16-17. Accessed December 11, 2019.
    • APA:
      JURIS, C. (2019). Adult Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly, 266(41), 16–17. Retrieved from
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      JURIS, CAROLYN. 2019. “Adult Bestsellers.” Publishers Weekly 266 (41): 16–17.
    • Harvard:
      JURIS, C. (2019) ‘Adult Bestsellers’, Publishers Weekly, 266(41), pp. 16–17. Available at: (Accessed: 11 December 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      JURIS, C 2019, ‘Adult Bestsellers’, Publishers Weekly, vol. 266, no. 41, pp. 16–17, viewed 11 December 2019, .
    • MLA:
      JURIS, CAROLYN. “Adult Bestsellers.” Publishers Weekly, vol. 266, no. 41, Oct. 2019, pp. 16–17. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      JURIS, CAROLYN. “Adult Bestsellers.” Publishers Weekly 266, no. 41 (October 14, 2019): 16–17.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      JURIS C. Adult Bestsellers. Publishers Weekly [Internet]. 2019 Oct 14 [cited 2019 Dec 11];266(41):16–7. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2018 September #2

Being called well-behaved would not necessarily have pleased Alma Smith, yet such a demeanor was vital for her success as the wife of one of Manhattan's wealthiest and most respected men. Although born to wealth in Alabama, Alva found herself in greatly reduced circumstances when her father lost the family fortune. A fortuitous marriage was her only chance for salvation, so when her dear friend Consuelo played matchmaker, pairing her with William K. Vanderbilt, Alva followed her head instead of her heart into a loveless marriage. Throwing herself into charity work and overseeing the construction of mansions in New York and Newport, Rhode Island, Alma failed to realize that William and Consuelo were conducting an elaborately secretive affair that threatened to consign her to the outsider status she worked so hard to avoid. With you-are-there immediacy fueled by assured attention to biographical detail and deft weaving of labyrinthine intrigue, Fowler (Z, 2014) creates a thoroughly credible imagining of the challenges and emotional turmoil facing this fiercely independent woman. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2018 May #1

Having triumphed with the New York Times best-selling Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, Fowler travels back to Gilded Age New York, where well-bred but utterly broke Alva Smith marries into the nouveau riche Vanderbilt family and earns them all a place in the sun with her smash-hit costume ball.

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2018 June #1

The 1875 marriage of Alva Smith and William Vanderbilt is one of convenience. Alva needs a rich husband to save her family from poverty after her father's losses in Confederate investments, and the Vanderbilts hope the Smith lineage of generations of prominent Americans and European royals will help them join the top ranks of New York society. Alva combines wit, intelligence, and connections to move up the social ladder yet chafes at the restrictions, longs for love, and finds her greatest satisfaction in designing ever grander mansions. Her discovery of William's unfaithfulness leads to an unprecedented divorce settlement that scandalizes society but leaves her independently wealthy. While readers catch glimpses of Alva's social concerns, only the final three chapters devote time to her second marriage to Oliver Belmont, with an exploration of her work for women's rights appearing in a final author's note. VERDICT Fowler (Exposure) ably portrays the excesses of the Gilded Age but falls short in her avowed attempt to counteract Alva's reputation as an ambitious social climber. Expect high demand from fans of the author's Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and those who enjoy stories of the rich and famous. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/18.]—Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State Univ. Lib., Mankato

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 August #1

As accomplished as its subject, redoubtable socialite and women's suffrage crusader Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, Fowler's engrossing successor to 2013's Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, again showcases her genius for seeing beyond the myths of iconic women. In 1874, 21-year-old Alva Smith and her three sisters have impeccable antecedents but no money. Marrying well being the only way to keep her family secure, Alva sets her sights on railroad scion William K. Vanderbilt. Her effort pays off—William inherits $65 million in 1885—though she finds neither love nor sexual pleasure with her amiable, self-absorbed husband. Wealth offers scope for Alva's formidable leadership skills: in the same years she bears three children, wins the parvenu Vanderbilts a position in elite society, and collaborates with architect Richard Hunt on a series of influential projects. Impeccably virtuous and self-disciplined, Alva nevertheless faces frequent censure for her lack of feminine deference, particularly when, in her 40s, she refuses to ignore her husband's infidelity. Instead, she negotiates a divorce, weathers the scandal, and finds new fulfillment. The novel doesn't sentimentalize its subject's unsympathetic moments and qualities, and Fowler puts Alva in a clear context, revealing the narrow constraints of her era, class, and gender, and the fierce courage and creativity with which she negotiated them. Though the novel's lavish sweep and gorgeous details evoke a vanished world, Fowler's exploration of the way powerful women are simultaneously devalued and rewarded resonates powerfully. 100,000-copy announced first printing. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.