Such Good Friends is a treasure trove of juicy, gossipy items about the friendship between Truman Capote and Lee Radziwill, the sister of Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis. It takes the reader through their first encounter, delves deeply into their years long friendship and ends with the demise of the relationship all together. Of course, included is the glamour of High Society and the ways in which the rich are able to manipulate not only each other, but the media as well. But for the most part, it is a story of two friends whose relationship runs its course, and both seem devastated but too stubborn to forgive the other.
In this historical fiction account, which is told by Lee Radziwill’s housekeeper, Marlene, someone with her own set of secrets, it relays not only Radziwill’s friendship with Capote, but Marlene’s as well. It captures the good, the bad and the scandelous.
The story begins, with the end. Marlene, the former housekeeper, cook and writer-to-be is at Lee Radziwill’s funeral, having been invited to the service. There she reminisces about her time with the two friends and the deterioration of both Capote’s life and their years long friendship.
She captures Truman’s Swans drama, a group of women who took Capote as their best friend and spilled all their tea to only to have him betray them and then not understand what he did wrong. His years of frustrating writer’s block. She documents stories in Radziwill’s life such as her own affair with Greek tycoon Aristotle Onasis, only to find out her sister was having her own tryst, to JKF’s assassination, to Truman’s suggestion that Radziwill venture into acting and writing. But the final straw for Radziwill was Truman’s long-lasting obsessive fight with Gore Vidal.
Name dropping of the rich is plentiful! Andy Warhol, Gloria Vanderbilt to name two. Sadly, the story ends with the desertion of all of Capote’s friends which spiraled him into a horrible world of loneliness and drinking.
But within the story of the glamorous and beautiful is Marlene’s own story. She never married and kept all the secrets of her beloved employer and her good friend, until the end.
Such Good Friends is a wonderful read filled with the rich and famous and their history, but also with the disintegration of friendship and how neither could ever find it in their hearts to forgive the other. It examines Capote’s demons in depth and what inevitably took his life.
Thank you #NetGalley #KensingtonBooks #SuchGoodFriends #StephenGreco for the advanced copy.