Dear Fellow Reader.
Finally. a book I enjoyed! I have been on a terrible dry spell. Reading along but I did not find anything that I liked. I’m not even talking about books that you want to stand on the corner and shout about. I was just ready for a book that I liked. (I was given a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion about the book.)
I found happiness in the book The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post. (Publication date 2/1/5/22) It is a historical fiction book that covers the life of Marjorie Merriweather Post. Ms. Post lived from 1887 to 1973. Quite a span of history!
Easily. I picked the book due to the subject matter. I recognized the name right away but not with any context – I just knew that I had heard it before. Upon reflection. I connected it to the Post Cereal Company but that was about as far as I could get.
Marjorie Merriweather Post (MMP) was the only daughter of C.W.Post. the inventor of Grape Nuts cereal and Postum (a warm morning drink that is a coffee substitute). The cereal and drink were invented by C.W. as a result of a “cure” that he took from Dr. Kellogg of Battle Creek. MI. The two, Post and Kellogg, battled over the new cereal industry for many years. (Okay. they probably still do…)
Marjorie and her father were very close. He had her working on the original company when she was a young teen. When they finally started making money. he sent her to a private school in Washington D.C. where he also moved. He had a huge influence on her life.
The book is divided into four sections. These sections are uneven time periods. but they reflect the several large changes in her life. It could be said that Marjorie was not lucky in love. She was very good with business and the company prospered under her (distanced) guidance. She was not allowed to take over the direct management of the company because she was a woman. Her husbands served on the board and oversaw the day-to-day decisions but she was always involved and made several of the major changes even over her husband’s objections.
She was also a philanthropist. Not only contributing to worthy causes but also fundraising for various charities. She was an art collector and had an extensive collection of Imperial-era Russian art. (This collection is on display at Hillwood. one of the properties that she owned.) She owned a yacht (which she loaned to the Navy during WWII) and a jet. She built several mansions. including Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach. FL. She knew how to spend her money on jewelry and property but did resist some of the excesses of the 1920s.
I found the story fascinating. It was a fairly quick read, and it was interesting until the very end. And I was interested enough after I read the book to lookup more about Marjorie Merriweather Post. A few interesting tidbits:
- Glenn Close is the granddaughter of MMP’s first husband. Edward Close.
- Dina Merrill was the daughter of MMP and E. F. Hutton. She was an actress
- MMP’s third husband was the Ambassador to Russia before WWII.
There are so many other little things that made it an interesting read.
Thanks for reading!