Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune by Bill Dedman was a fascinating read. This is an extensively well researched and well written account of a forgotten American Heiress and her father W.A Clark.
Having recently watched the series on TV "The Men who Build America" ( Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan) I was delighted when I received this book on W.A Clark and his family who were major players in copper mining and other industries during the 1880s to 1930s. I really enjoy books of this nature and Empty Mansions proved to be right up my street.
When the author noticed in 2009 a mansion for sale which was unoccupied for nearly sixty years he became curious and he did some research and found a surprising portal into American History. This book is a fascinating account of mystery, wealth, loss and finally to a twenty first century battle over an estate worth $300 Million. Huguette Clark is the lonely reclusive figure at the heart of this story who lived as a reclusive figure in a hospital room in New York for 30 years until her death in 2011.
I loved everything about this book, the historical account of W. A Clark and the building of his empire was so interesting and very well researched. I loved the photographs in the book and found myself stopping throughout this book to Google places and stories. I was sad and at times aghast at the wealth and opulence of the Clark Family. I was shocked at the vast sums of money Huguette paid out to hospitals, carers and friends in order to live the life of privacy that she chooses.
Huguette's story is a bizarre but fascinating one and I really enjoyed this book from start to finish. Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for the opportunity to read this book in return for an unbiased review.