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The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

Marjorie Merriweather Post was a precocious child who wanted to learn everything her father had to teach her. When he gets extremely ill, the family heads to Battle Creek, Michigan, hoping that he’ll find answers at Dr. John Kellogg’s new treatment center. With little money left and their hopes running thin, they bank everything on this experimental treatment. When her father finally recovers --- and not necessarily from the treatment --- he decides to start a company based on what he discovered during his recovery. He believes that good, natural foods are what the country needs, and the C.W. Post Company is formed with this simple idea in mind.

"THE MAGNIFICENT LIVES OF MARJORIE POST is such a wonderful book to curl up with. It’s lavish, exciting and sometimes heartbreaking, but Pataki brings you around each time, and you’re eager to tag along for the ride that was Marjorie Post’s life."

Marjorie spends as much time as she can with her father, doing everything possible to build the business. In many ways, she grows up alongside the company. He encourages her to learn all she can, enrolling her in the best schools, even moving everyone to Washington, D.C. so she could get an education. While there, however, her small family falls apart. Her parents separate and finally divorce. Her father, her biggest supporter, gives her more of the family responsibility, including asking her to build his new mansion on New York’s Gold Coast. When she meets Ed Close, a member of Long Island society, she’s immediately drawn in and they soon get married.

The marriage starts out wonderfully but then quickly takes a downward turn. After many unhappy years, they decide to call it quits. Marjorie pulls herself together and is soon in love again. She’s a woman with millions to her name, the owner of extravagant homes and the hostess of envious parties. She also very much wants to make things better in a country she loves, and she knows her money can be more than the jewels, homes and artwork she owns. She continually funds hospitals and food kitchens, and encourages wealthy friends to do the same. She lives her life to the fullest, so when her second marriage ends, she’s willing to accept it and move on.

Marjorie’s third marriage brings her back to Washington, D.C., but she learns that she’s not as popular among certain members of society. She reinvents herself and makes it back to the top. Her husband is an Ambassador to Russia, which means that she finds herself throwing parties in Moscow and acquiring Russian art and jewels. At the start of World War II, she goes back to her philanthropy work, putting everything she can into the war effort. However, when the war ends, so does her marriage.

While Marjorie has her company, her homes, her daughters and their growing families, a happy marriage has always eluded her. When the opportunity to marry comes around a fourth time, she jumps at it, always hopeful when love is involved.

Although life is never as happy or as perfect as she would like, Marjorie never gives up. She finds new ways to keep going, knowing that everything she has can disappear quickly. She’s resilient, gracious when called for, and most of all, always willing to give more than she will get in return.

I love Allison Pataki’s writing. She takes individuals who are already bigger than life and makes them even more interesting to readers. Marjorie Post is no exception. While her life revolved around her company and her marriages, she did so much more. And even though being a woman prevented her from running the company herself, she encouraged many of the decisions that made millions for her and for others. She understood the business better than anyone and what their products meant to the people who used them.

THE MAGNIFICENT LIVES OF MARJORIE POST is such a wonderful book to curl up with. It’s lavish, exciting and sometimes heartbreaking, but Pataki brings you around each time, and you’re eager to tag along for the ride that was Marjorie Post’s life.

Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on February 18, 2022

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post
by Allison Pataki

  • Publication Date: February 15, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0593355687
  • ISBN-13: 9780593355688