narrative nonfiction

Pre-Order Now: The Last Castle (Coming Sept. 2017)

Just a quick note to let you guys know that my wife, Denise Kiernan’s, next book is now officially available for pre-order at all online and indie bookstores. The book pubs September 26, 2017.

The book tells the story of the crazily opulent Biltmore House, which is the largest house ever built in America. The book would probably delight fans of the TV show, Downton Abbey, who may be under the impression that massive houses such as this never made it to this side of the pond.

They did! And it’s still here, open to the public, long after similar houses of its ilk met the wrecking ball.

Biltmore is 175,000 square feet, and sits on a plot of land that is about 8,000 acres. 

Who would build such a place? Who would acquire such a huge amount of property? And why?

Believe it or not, the home’s original owner was a fabulously wealthy bookworm. Denise—whose last book hit the New York Times, LA Times, NPR and Indiebound bestseller lists and has been translated into seven languages—spent three years researching the story of George Vanderbilt and his remarkable estate.

She’s written the story in a way that has never been told. When I first read the manuscript, it kind of reminded me of one of my all-time favorite novel—Ragtime, by E.L. Doctorow. Only every word of her book is true.

At the center of the book is George and his amazing house. There’s his wife, Edith. His daughter, Cornelia. And woven throughout their story is a cast of famous, real-life people, a Who’s Who of American culture: Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, O. Henry, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, Frederick Law Olmsted, James Whistler, and whole lot more.

It’s a fascinating story of how the Gilded Age flourished once upon a time, then faded away. If you're interested or thinking of buying a copy as gift for someone later this year, check out these links to see about snagging a first edition.

PREORDER THE LAST CASTLE