Oak Point: A novel
The thoroughbred trainer's daughter from Kentucky, Countess Mona Bismarck, is the subject of a new roman à clef novel by Edward C. Young.
Narrator Evan Charles was Mona's next door neighbor, and remembers her well, from early childhood visits to her enormous aviary, with huge exotic birds flying free, to teen coming-of-age adventures with friends and lovers, roaming her estate while she was not in residence.
Mona was born in Louisville, as was Daisy Buchanan, and, like Daisy, she was gorgeous, unimaginably rich, and utterly unobtainable. The reader hears in her own words the story of her remarkable life; explores her enormous townhouse in Paris, and learns about the haute couture world of Cristobal Balenciaga, her fashion mentor.
The two teenage suburban girls who are the heroines of "Oak Point," Taffy and Candy, give their boyfriends more than they bargained for, and a night of romance at Mona's deserted Long Island estate, Oak Point, turns to mayhem and gunfire.
They are all here, from Fitzgerald to Truman Capote and Gore Vidal; Jimi Hendrix and Dexter Gordon to Cole Porter (who included her in a lyric); Jackie Onassis, who idolized Mona; Bobby Kennedy, who taught the narrator an invaluable lesson about "giving back," to the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and Andy Warhol. Even the "real" Two Mrs. Grenvilles, friends of the narrator's mother, make an appearance.
"Oak Point" takes the reader inside the private schools set in old mansions, the exclusive clubs, the large houses, and the sailboats that transported teens too young to drive. From the Jazz Age to the Jet Set, "Oak Point" uncovers the lives of the rich, and the super-rich, in a way that no other book ever has. Pungent social commentary and touching tales of young love drive the narrative arc from the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky, to the restrained elegance of upper-crust Manhattan, the fashion empires of Paris, and an emperor's getaway in Capri.
Exerpts are available here: http://www.facebook.com/MonaTheBook
and photos and comment here: