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A Woman of Independent Means

A Woman of Independent Means By Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey A Woman of Independent Means A bestselling sensation when it was first published by Viking in A Woman of Independent Means has delighted millions of readers and was the inspiration for the television miniseries starring Sal

  • Title: A Woman of Independent Means
  • Author: Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
  • ISBN: 9781860497667
  • Page: 155
  • Format: Paperback
  • A Woman of Independent Means By Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey A bestselling sensation when it was first published by Viking in 1978, A Woman of Independent Means has delighted millions of readers and was the inspiration for the television miniseries starring Sally Field.At the turn of the century, a time when women had few choices, Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy not only of wealth but of determination and desire, making her trulA bestselling sensation when it was first published by Viking in 1978, A Woman of Independent Means has delighted millions of readers and was the inspiration for the television miniseries starring Sally Field.At the turn of the century, a time when women had few choices, Bess Steed Garner inherits a legacy not only of wealth but of determination and desire, making her truly a woman of independent means From the early 1900s through the 1960s, we accompany Bess as she endures life s trials and triumphs with unfailing courage and indomitable spirit the sacrifices love sometimes requires of the heart, the flaws and rewards of marriage, the often tested bond between mother and child, and the will to defy a society that demands conformity Now, with this beautiful trade paperback edition, Penguin will introduce a new generation of readers to this richly woven story d to Bess Steed Garner, a woman for all ages.
    A Woman of Independent Means By Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey

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    One thought on “A Woman of Independent Means

    1. Cristin on said:

      This is another book that reaffirms my belief in books having the uncanny power of choosing their readers when the time is just right.My gaze has lingered on the tattered spine of A Woman of Independent Means for many months now I ve been perusing my shelf and consistently pausing there, hearing an echo of my sister s voice saying, I think you d like it Here, take my copy Still, it wasn t until a few days ago that I actually heeded its call Mortality is a topic every thing and one can relate to [...]

    2. Laurie on said:

      This is not about the book itself.Found my copy of this book as I was gathering books to take to the Half Price Book seller buyer My husband does this for me so I won t come home with than I took there So I ve never been in the store Not that I need to with a Kindle Fire and a hot account I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw an inscription from my mother who has been gone from this life so many years ago She always gave me a book for my birthday, a hard back book with an inscription inside Th [...]

    3. Linda Hart on said:

      Not many books do I read than once This was one I read it about 35 years ago when I was busy raising 5 kids, and a husband, and it had a big impact on my life I have just requested it from the library so that I can read it again I can t think of higher praise I could give for any book It was recommended to me by my mother who, I believe, identified with Bess I certainly saw the comparisons when I read it, as did my sisters One reviewer described the story as A portrait of a woman with all her f [...]

    4. Linda Paupst on said:

      I read this book thirty years ago and it was a light bulb moment for me the first time I had read a how to on becoming independent in a relationship Not meant to be a how to book, this is a beautiful story of a woman, her loves and life, told in diary format It is a page turner, but the take away for me was how Bess illustrates the importance of every woman having her own financial security, her own thoughts and dreams I thought it was so important that I bought copies for my own three daughters [...]

    5. Tamara on said:

      I tried a book without a single recommendation very scary for me I picked it up at the dollar store or a clearance rack and I fell in love with it The entire book was written in letters over the span of an American women s life late 1800 s 1969ish She was a great character of strength and determination albeit selfish at times Life deals her tragedy yet she often rises and grows from her losses The word independent describes her perfectly a bit like Scarlett O Hara I am not sure if anyone else ou [...]

    6. Amy on said:

      It s a book of letters from a woman of high society, beginning with her childhood letters to her sweetheart She later marries him and they enjoy a life of luxury until his death The book is touching, but I find the main character to be a bit bossy Her insistence to have things her way all the time becomes a bit annoying, and she is outspoken to a fault Her children, especially her daughter, become estranged from her near the end of her lift, as a result of her intrusive personality The book is, [...]

    7. Wendy on said:

      This book is the life story of a woman born in the 1890 s through 1960 s told via her letters to friends and family I did not know this was the book s formats and it took me awhile to get used to The book kept my interest and I read it in 3 days, but there were so many things I didn t like about it They all had to do with the heroine I could not relate to her on so many fronts If you don t want to read all my ramblings in a nutshell, she was too materialistic, too concerned about status and weal [...]

    8. Marci on said:

      My dear friend told me to run, not walk, to the bookstore and purchase a copy of this book And my, am I glad I did This epistolary novel is written through a series of letters throughout the life of Bess Steed Armstrong, a forthright woman of the early 1900s who believes in living life on her own terms Because of inherited money, she is indeed a woman of independent means, which helps her fulfill her chosen life s paths Through her letters we come to intimately know this woman of indomitable spi [...]

    9. Graceann on said:

      This excellent novel, made up of a lifetime s correspondence from a woman to her family and friends running from the turn of the last Century to 1968, is a page turner in all the best senses of that phrase I cried at least twice while I was reading this story an unusual occurrence for me and couldn t read it quickly enough in order to find out what would happen next.The author is very sneaky in that she gives Bess noble motives but a less than ideal way of going about them She runs a fine thread [...]

    10. Alberto Delgado on said:

      A todos mis amigos de No puedo hacer otra cosa al terminar de leer este libro que escribiros esta carta para que en alg n momento la pod is leer Acabo de terminar de leer la historia de la abuela de la escritora Elizabeth Forsythe a la que ella dio vida en su primer libro en forma de novela epistolar Nos encontramos con una mujer que fue una adelantada a su poca y que con su fuerte personalidad derrib muchos de los convencionalismos que se supon a que ten an que llevar las mujeres hace 100 a os [...]

    11. Donna on said:

      This was different, but overall, I liked it In the beginning, I was a little put off by the frivolity of this woman It had me wondering why this book has received so many 4 and 5 star rating As I read further, there were threads of truth that remain poignant even in this century, that were woven throughout It is a short book, so this isn t an in depth look at the MC But there were plenty of glimpses, both subtle and powerful, into the woman she was becoming.

    12. Laurie on said:

      I liked the creative way in which this book was written, through letters and other types of correspondence from Bess to various people in her life We learn a lot about her not only from what she writes, but from her references to what other have written to her She is a very controlling woman, who seeks to manipulate everyone and everything to her wishes and usually gets her way, but sometimes at a price to her personally Very well written and wonderful 3 dimensional character development.

    13. Shelley on said:

      Written by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey in epistolary form, A Woman of Independent Means, portrays the life of a middle to upper middle class white woman, Elizabeth Alcott, coming of age at the turn of the 20th century Through letters written by Elizabeth we are shown portions of her life, though because these are letters, we are never able to get as truly close to Elizabeth as we would like She is honest and forthcoming in many of the letters she writes, including those to her father, her cousin a [...]

    14. Valerie Petersen on said:

      I read this many years ago and wondered if it would have lost its luster for me since I don t have the same mental set as I did then However, so far, I m loving it all over again.This is an outstanding study of an unusual for the time woman who, through her letters, conveys a strong spirit, a strong sense of love of family, and a series of lessons on life ranging from child rearing to finance to business strategy to the honor of doing the right thing.Bess begins writing letters in the fourth gra [...]

    15. Suzie on said:

      This is such a hard one to rate at the beginning I was so irritated with the woman that I checked that this really was the book I saw so highly recommended The one sided letter writing format was probably partly to blame for this And also that I thought it would be openly feminist than it was But eventually I started to love her And despite my initial irritation I couldn t help but cry when her husband died and sob when her little boy died I loved observing Bess grow older and the attitude she [...]

    16. Sara Joseph on said:

      I loved this book as a teenager and I wanted to understand why I found a quote from it, which I had painstakingly copied into my journal when I was sixteen The book had completely slipped from my memory, so I borrowed it from the library and embarked on a rediscovery of my younger self How much I ve changed as an adult This book is still one of my favorites because I enjoy Hailey s writing style Her use of the language is so rich and fluid and I enjoyed how well she fleshed out her characters Wh [...]

    17. Nancy on said:

      Four and a half stars This book might be meaningful to an older reader because the main character s progress through life s twists and turns is what is fascinating She is an annoying person, but there is much wisdom in her story, which is in the format of letters she has written over fifty years I really liked this book

    18. Anna on said:

      A Woman of Independent Means is a little saga that follows the life of Bess, a woman living through the tumultuous first half of the 20th century It is a time of war, of depression and hardship, of a blossoming women s rights movement and confusion over modernity and tradition Bess stumbles through each of these obstacles throughout her life The book is written in a letter format, which is a little annoying, because the reader must figure out who the letter is to, what the date is, what events B [...]

    19. Makereal on said:

      All people, especially 20 year old female Americans should read this book Whoa, the perspective Fate deals a hand to this young women at the turn of the century and she impressively takes the bull by the horns My favorite memories of this book are the moment when she has to make a decision about taking her ill son with her on the train to NY and subsequently manages returning his coffin to Texas Her decision to keep her finances separate from her husband as an investor in his company Her decisio [...]

    20. Alice on said:

      I always find novels written in the form of letters interesting not that I s want to read than one a year Though this novel was different in that the letters were all from the same person, so you had to glean from them what was going on with the people she would write to This was well done by the author I found myself putting this book down and reading other things because somehow it was becoming too much a part of my thoughts It wasn t that I related to Bess and her lifestyle of travel and wel [...]

    21. Petrea on said:

      This was a Mother s Day gift from Megan and James and what a treat it was to read The author chose to present the story of her grandmother through letters and it was a nice literary device in this case The women of the story lived through so much history besides her personal life which was amazing I always find it interesting to read a person s life as they approach dates I know will be significant and see how they are affected This woman lived through two world wars, the depression, the influen [...]

    22. Susan Fetterer on said:

      I really loved this book It s written diary style so you fly through the pages It s the story of one woman over decades of her life, relationships, marriage, children, the pain of loss, coming to terms with change, forgiveness and redemption There are a handful of books, if we re lucky, that stay with us for years We remember what we felt while reading it, how exciting it was to have found a book that had us forego everything needing to be done because we couldn t put that book down Now that s t [...]

    23. Nicole on said:

      Ward book group, June 2011 I LOVED THIS BOOK I coming to learn that I am a sucker for books written in letter form Apparently I like monologues Our woman of independent means was not perfect to me, but very real I cried when she cried and rejoiced when she rejoiced Sometimes in her success she would become prideful and sure of herself only to have life knock her down again How true this pattern is In the end she dies comfortable, loved and confident, but not prideful, selfish or heartbroken, all [...]

    24. Holly on said:

      This book is written entirely as letters from the main character, Bess, to family and friends throughout her life The first letter is written when she is a young child to her friend, who later becomes her husband I was surprised how the one sided letters read so well like a story I was still able to get to know the other characters even though they had no voice in the book Bess, the Woman of Independent Means, is a very strong character and sometimes comes off as a little pushy and egocentric Th [...]

    25. Andrea Homier on said:

      This is a 3 1 2, but I will bump it up to four I thoroughly enjoyed Elizabeth s personality, her life story even if fictional and great thoughts that are relayed through this book of letters It s one of those books that one can reread every few years just to remind oneself of the right way of thinking about things And as I find when reading any book of letters John and Abigail Adams The Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Society , real or creatively imagined, I find myself longing to write and [...]

    26. Nollie on said:

      At this point in my life I found myself really identifying with Bess, the protagonist of this book There are probably at least 10 different pages with the corner turned down where I wanted to remember her insights on topics such as womanhood, marriage, motherhood, an what it means to be independent The book s epistolary format also makes for an interesting read, with characters and settings reminiscent of two of my favorite books Angle of Repose and Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.

    27. Kate on said:

      This epistolary novel was recommended by Susan Gregg Gil at Booktopia Petoskey 2013 and has languished on my TBR pile since that wonderful weekend I was looking for something different and picked it up The letters are all written by Bess Steed Garner who was born in 1890 and by age 9 has become a prolific letter writer Through her letters we not only see her life, but use them as a mirror to see how life was in the early part of the 20th century for wealthy Southern citizens At times, she comple [...]

    28. Lisbeth Solberg on said:

      Although I like the basic premise of this epistolary novel, I quickly became impatient with the voice of the narrator and the exhaustive yet often unremarkable and or repetitive detail I would have liked to have seen a steeper learning curve in Bess over her long lifetime she seemed extremely self centered throughout There were some good little surprises, though, and I did like the last entry.

    29. Andrea on said:

      I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend it highly The format of this book are letters the main character has written to family, friends, colleagues, etc Although it took getting used to reading in this format, it ll make you nostalgic for receiving and writing letters yourself The book spans through the main character s life 1890 s to 1968 and I was much impressed with the still current thoughts, feelings, triumphs, tragedies, and life experiences Bess talks about in her letters.

    30. Adri on said:

      This is a fun read I thought the format was interesting written entirely as letters from the main character, Bess, to her family and friends As a woman of not only independent means but independent ideas, it is fun to imagine how she would have fared in her time, when women didn t do many of the things she did I think this would make for some good discussion, both literary wise and culturally, in a book group.

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