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"Few writers have ever captured the exquisite, delicate balance of architecture and memory as eloquently and as movingly . . . In the end this book is about the loss of innocence, innocence about art as much as about life, and while its memories are sad and painful, it is a paean to passion."
- New York Times Book Review review:

"In 1906, Suzannah Lessard's great-grandfather, the prominent architect, socialite, and hedonist Stanford White, was sensationally murdered by the husband of a showgirl White had seduced when she was 16. The acquittal of the killer on the grounds of insanity added to the scandalous gossip. In this beautifully written memoir, Lessard, a writer for the New Yorker, recalls growing up on the White family estate on Long Island, where the murder was a taboo subject. She evokes a sense of repressed and dark passion that infected the harmonious landscaping and architecture White had created. She writes of "coldness that may feel like warmth, or violence that presents as lust for life." In this extraordinarily literary nonfiction mystery, Lessard slowly reveals that her family history held more secrets than the murder, and reaches a startling and controversial climax."

More very favourable reviews on

Large format (trade) paperback 1997.

334 pages.

Photographs throughout.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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