Janet S. (Great Neck Library, NY)
Riveting and Sad Memoir
The rich and famous truly ARE different. In this charmingly told, evocative page-turner, Weber recounts the complex truth-is-stranger-than-fiction tale of her parents' and grandparents' marriages and extra-marital relationships. The author unblinkingly examines both the good and the extremely difficult times in the intense relationship between her grandmother Kay Swift and her married grandmother's long-time lover George Gershwin, as well as what it was like to live as a member of an illustrious yet troubled American Jewish family.
Sharon P. (Jacksonville, FL)
The Memory of All That
The subtitle says a lot about the story: "George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacy of Infidelities". Though not always a happy one, this is a fascinating story with a large cast of unusual, and often well known, characters. Katharine Weber gives us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the entertainers of a bygone era. A really good read.
Lorelee M. (Placentia, CA)
The Memory of All That
This book was delightful. It is amazing how many names from 20th century history were connected in some way to this family in the arts, politics, and business ventures. The underlying humor and smooth writing made this easy and enjoyable to read.
The myriad of characters and extended family was confusing at times (expecially the FBI activities), but well worth the glimpse into the lives of some prominent , creative, intelligent, and most often wealthy people who were thrown together or crossed paths personally and/or professionally.
I found myself joyfully humming Gershwin tunes for days and being deeply touched by the memories of all the grandmothers who will always hold a special place in our hearts.
"The heart wants what the heart wants" It is destiny.
Lesley F. (San Diego, CA)
A well-told history - just when I thought I couldn't hear another thing about S. Kaufman (he reminded me of my ex) - Weber switched to the story of her grandmother and what a gratifying one! It was long ago, so many names are no longer familiar to the reading public but I can understand how time needed to pass before it could be talked about. Those who love a tell-all will love this tale. And what a strong women's story it is!
Joan B. (Ellicott City, MD)
THE MEMORY OF ALL THAT
This book was a fascinating read. I wish I had had some background into the Warburg family before starting. The family was a part of the privileged and entitled "upper crust" during the early 20th century. Katherine Weber bravely tells about life with her dysfunctional father who was investigated by the FBI for decades. She then goes on to her grandmother's (Kay Swift) love affair with George Gershwin. Kay Swift was also a promiscuous, fascinating character, who was a renowned composer and pianist.
Katherine Weber shares her life experiences and great compassion with the reader. This is one of my First Impressions that I have lots more to discuss.
Anna S. (Auburn, AL)
The Memory of All That
It is always entertaining to read about the lives of the rich and famous, and the book did not disappoint in this regard. It was somewhat difficult to get into the first part of the book which was mainly about her despicable father. It was amazing to me that the author was able to give a reasonably sympathetic telling of his exploits. I found the second half of the book, about her mother's family, much more interesting. I have always been a huge George Gershwin fan, and particularly enjoyed reading about his relationship with Weber's grandmother, Kay Swift. I had not known previously that she was such an accomplished musician. It is a shame that she has received so little credit for her accomplishments.
Philip K. (San Anselmo, Ca)
The Memory Of All That starts slowly focusing at first on the authors' father,a second rate producer and movie director and first rate cheat who ignored his family. The story takes off when the focus shifts to the authors mothers' family, the Warburgs, grandfather Paul and his wife Kay Swift,a song writer and lover of George Gershwin . At this point the story of this menage becomes at once moving and ultimately tragic ending with the inexcusable death of Gershwin at the hands of his physicians who misdiagnosed a tumor which eventually killed this great American musical genius. The story is replete with wonderful characters, dysfunctional families and the magic years in New York between the two world wars. A wonderful piece of entertainment.