2012: 40. The Memory of All That

"We are walking into the ocean."

The Memory Of All That, Katharine Weber

I keep reading these memoir/biographies by people who had famous(ish) ancestors, and I keep finding them wanting.  I am a total sucker for a book that professes to be the real story of someone's crazy ancestors (particularly if it its a rich family that's gone to seed), and then once I get them, I always think, "why did I bother to read this"?  I think I've been spoiled by The Architect of Desire (and, though it's slightly different Shot in the Heart), and I keep thinking that I'm going to find something else that, more than just being gossipy about the past/whiny about one's grandparent, actually illuminates history and memory and all that.  And if it can't do that - the least it could do is actually be a rip roaring gossipy read, which the ones I've read lately simply haven't been.

Anyway, this one is about Weber's grandmother, Kay Swift (the name sort of rings a bell) who was a song writer (though none of the songs were familiar to me), married into a famous rich Jewish family (the Warburgs), and had a long standing affair with Gershwin.  It's ok, but I felt like Weber was spending the whole book trying to 1) convince me her family was important and 2) convince me that Swift was the love of Gershwin's life (which she seemed to think would make her grandmother more important).  It's definitely well written, but I just wasn't that interested in her family.

Categories:  Non-Fiction, library book 


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017