The Astor Orphan: A Memoir

Paperback | April 8, 2014

byAlexandra Aldrich

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The Astor Orphan is an unflinching debut memoir by a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor, Alexandra Aldrich.

She brilliantly tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her brave escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches back to the Gilded Age when the Astor legacy began to come undone, leaving the Aldrich branch of the family penniless and squabbling over what was left.

Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that bring this faded world into focus, The Astor Orphan is written with the grit of The Glass Castle and set amid the aristocratic decay of Grey Gardens.

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From the Publisher

The Astor Orphan is an unflinching debut memoir by a direct descendant of John Jacob Astor, Alexandra Aldrich.She brilliantly tells the story of her eccentric, fractured family; her 1980s childhood of bohemian neglect in the squalid attic of Rokeby, the family’s Hudson Valley Mansion; and her brave escape from the clan. Aldrich reaches...

From the Jacket

Heir to the Astor legacy, Alexandra Aldrich tells the astonishing story of her eccentric, fractured family and her decision to flee its storied legacy

Alexandra Aldrich lived at Rokeby, the house at the heart of this story, until she left to attend boarding school at the age of fourteen. She later moved to Poland, where she studied violin and history, and then back to the United States, where she taught high school English and converted to Orthodox Judaism.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.61 inPublished:April 8, 2014Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062207954

ISBN - 13:9780062207951

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“Evocative. . . . Aldrich astutely portrays a colorful cast of aunts, uncles, cousins and hangers-on—clinging to the family legacy long after the money is gone. One can’t help but cheer as she breaks away from the others to make a name for herself.”