Lynn Steward Books
As the 1970s women’s movement paves the way, an underestimated young woman leaves a broken marriage to reinvent retail – and herself – at New York’s most glamorous department store
As a fashion buyer at B. Altman, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get. Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And as she encounters wealthy suitors who want to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the 1970s women’s movement paves the way, the newly divorced Dana finds her path to the woman she wants to be.
The Dana McGarry Series is set in an age of opportunity where women’s choices have consequences, but living the life they want may come at the expense of what they need.
“First I’d like to say, if you are hesitant to read this book, just look at the author’s website www.lynnsteward.com and pinterest boards (www.pinterest.com/lynnstewardny). This is not just one in a series of books; it is an entire fascinating world. Much like a great TV series, the first novel in the Dana McGarry book series, A Very Good Life, introduces the characters, the settings and the time. At the end, you are left with a cliffhanger and so in love with Dana, so in hate with Janice and Brett, and so intrigued by the multitude of characters surrounding Dana that you devour What Might Have Been which moves at a faster pace while developing characters and subplots, adding intrigue, interweaving relationships and introducing two new characters at the end whom I can’t wait to know more about in the remainder of the series. The author’s website has motivated me to do my own research and I now not only look up Diana Vreeland’s quotes, I share them with people who have never heard of her (can you imagine) and think she’s both inspirational and hilarious.” Jul 29, 2015 Alex rated it ~ Goodreads and Amazon.com five stars
“Lynn Steward highlights nuances of 70s life in New York City that are rarely featured in books or in films set in that decade. It is a New York story told in New York style.” April 2014 ~ Ask a New Yorker ~ Amazon.com ~ five stars
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Although Lynn Steward’s debut novel, A Very Good Life, takes place in 1970s New York City, the emotional story transcends any period. Dana McGarry is an “it” girl, living a privileged lifestyle of a well-heeled junior executive at B. Altman, a high end department store. With a storybook husband and a fairytale life, change comes swiftly and unexpectedly. Cracks begin to appear in the perfect facade. Challenged at work by unethical demands, and the growing awareness that her relationship with her distant husband is strained, Dana must deal with the unwanted changes in her life. Can she find her place in the new world where women can have a voice, or will she allow herself to be manipulated into doing things that go against her growing self-confidence?
A Very Good Life chronicles the perils and rewards of Dana’s journey, alongside some of the most legendary women of the twentieth century. From parties at Café des Artistes to the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, from meetings with business icons like Estée Lauder to cocktail receptions with celebrity guests like legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. Steward’s intimate knowledge of the period brings to life a relatable story about a woman’s quest for independence.
A Very Good Life ranked #1 on Amazon’s list of 100 Top Free eBooks in Literary and Fiction
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