The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin is a stunning story based on the lives of Truman Capote and a cluster of women belonging to the New York jet set who befriended him. A real-life woman named Babe Paley figures most prominently in the story as she and Truman were best friends for many years. Truman was the group’s token gay friend up until the time he foolishly betrayed Babe and her friends by making public very private secrets which had been told to him in confidence.
Knowing much of the novel is based on real people made this is an extremely interesting book to me. I have read some of Capote’s writing and remember what a character he appeared to be when appearing on television shows years ago. I thought the end of the book dragged on a little too long for my taste, but overall, I enjoyed it on many levels. In some ways, it reminded me of Bravo’s Real Housewives series populated with higher class women. You may want to read it with an ice-cold vodka stinger! Enjoy!