Book Review: Lady on the Hill: Biltmore Estate by Howard E. Covington, Jr.

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Book Review: I read Lady on the Hill: How Biltmore Estate Became an American Icon by Howard E. Covington Jr. over the last two weeks, absorbing a few chapters each night to reminisce over my stay at the beautiful estate last September. I miss it and want to go back right now, but alas, a short book review will have to do.

iltmore

Summary 
It’s a 3.5 star read for me — a good account of the transition of the estate from what it originated as through what it became in early 2000. I don’t often read non-fiction unless it’s someone famous I admire in history (I don’t read current celebrity/political books, just not usually my thing) or a great account of some marvel or period in history. This fell into the second category, as I was anxious to learn about how the Vanderbilts changed over the years. It’s hard to maintain a fresh voice in a book that is informational. At times, I felt this was a tad dry, even for the type of book it is. I went in knowing there’d be information dumps, partial history and a different take on how it currently runs. I learned a lot more than I did on my visit, but at the same time, it felt like it was missing enough of a lure to keep me wanting to read more. The writing is strong. The information is great. Yet, it came from a starting place of facts rather than the passion behind everything that went into the estate. You feel it from the Cecil family in a few chapters, but not always. The author did a good job at balancing all the information, and it’s worth a read for anyone who loves the estate. If it’s your first time to get acquainted, it might be a difficult read. All in all, I’m glad I revisited the place and took the time to read over several weeks in between other books, as it made the magic last a bit longer.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.
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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Lady on the Hill: Biltmore Estate by Howard E. Covington, Jr.

    lghiggins said:
    December 15, 2017 at 9:56 AM

    The Biltmore is a lovely estate and deserves to get its story told. It seems the author had more of a need to relate history than a passion to share a story (and of course there must be many stories behind the estate). I think it was great that you saw it first and had an introduction to it before tackling this book. I think if I were to accept the challenge, I would follow your lead and just read a few chapters a night. Good plan!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 15, 2017 at 10:07 AM

      I agree with you on the Biltmore. I adored the tours and walking around on my own. I think the book was meant to be more of a post-build look at the estate, not the definitive book to capture an audience for the history. It was still a good read. Have a great day, thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff said:
    December 15, 2017 at 11:31 AM

    Hmm. I don’t read much in the way of non-fiction either Jay, except for the occasional biography or autobiography. I’m also not familiar with the Vanderbilts except for the basics, so I’m not sure if this is for me. I’m glad you wound up enjoying it though.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 15, 2017 at 11:49 AM

      The Vanderbilts are a fascinating family. I visited the Newport homes, too, so I know a bit about them. I hope your weekend is going well.

      Liked by 1 person

    AJ said:
    December 16, 2017 at 3:07 PM

    Oh that just got put on my TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

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