The Astor Orphan

The Astor Orphan

2.73 (807 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Astor Orphan is an unflinching debut memoir by a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor, Alexandra Aldrich.

She brilliantly tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family's Hudson Valley Mansion; and her brave escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left.

Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that bring this faded world into focus, The Astor Orphan is written with the grit of The Glass Castle and set amid the aristocratic decay of Grey Gardens.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 17.78mm | 317.51g
  • Harperluxe
  • United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0062223399
  • 9780062223395
  • 2,081,009

Review quote

Evocative. . . . Aldrich astutely portrays a colorful cast of aunts, uncles, cousins and hangers-on clinging to the family legacy long after the money is gone. One can t help but cheer as she breaks away from the others to make a name for herself. --Elliott Holt, author of "You Are One of Them""
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Back cover copy

Alexandra Aldrich grew up in the servants' quarters of Rokeby, the forty-three-room Astor mansion built by her ancestors, foraging for her next meal, battling for dominance with her wealthier first cousins, and striving to get her pathologically distracted parents to take care of her.

Amid the chaos and squalor of the household, Alexandra tried to impose order on her anarchic world. But a parent's betrayal ignited a series of familial feuds that shook her hard-won stability and set her on a path toward escaping her troubled branch of the Astor legacy.

The Astor Orphan is an unflinching memoir with the grit of The Glass Castle and the faded glory of Grey Gardens.
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Rating details

807 ratings
2.73 out of 5 stars
5 5% (42)
4 15% (122)
3 36% (292)
2 35% (280)
1 9% (71)
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