A Voice from Old New York: A Memoir of My Youth 

By Louis Auchincloss

224 pages, $25.00 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, December 2, 2010



Prior to his death last year, Louis Auchincloss penned roughly sixty some books, non-fiction and fiction alike. I've honestly read none before this, so I had no preconceived notion of what to expect.  The holidays overwhelmed me and my e-galley expired before I could finish this entertaining memoir, so I went to the brick and mortar store and put out hard earned cash so I could finish it. That should tell you how much I enjoyed Mr. Auchincloss' book!

For me, I knew of Mr. Auchincloss because of his cousin, the late Jacqueline Kennedy. Through this book I learned he was so much more than the cousin of a former first lady. He was an author, a father, and a well known lawyer.  Who'd have thought a person could be designated a “Living Landmark” but he was designated just that by the New York Landmarks Conservancy! Most of all I think Auchincloss a wonderful observer of people. He writes beautifully, using words and phrases that help the reader "see" the privileged world in which he lived.

A Voice from Old New York, well and brilliantly told, left me wanting to know more. Auchincloss does write about his boarding school days, the unmarried aunt, his mother, the war and the people who make up his "society" world. I just wish he'd done more than scratch the surface.

This left me wanting to know so much more, so  I'll be reading more of his work, looking to flesh out the spaces.

If I gave a star rating, I'd give this 3 1/2 stars out of 5.

From the Publisher: At the time of his death, Louis Auchincloss—enemy of bores, self-pity, and gossip less than fresh—had just finished taking on a subject he had long avoided: himself. His memoir confirms that, despite the spark of his fiction, Auchincloss himself was the most entertaining character he has created.

Source: I was provided an e-galley of this book by the publisher and also purchased a copy in order to complete the reading of this book as the e-galley expired.

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