Gaston, Theodora Getty. Alone Together: My Life With J. Paul Getty. Ecco, 2016. ISBN 978-0062219725 320 pp. $
This memoir by the fifth! wife of oil baron J. Paul Getty reflects on their fabulous and charming relationship. He was a miser and flirt. She was a trained opera singer. It was attraction at first sight when he saw her singing in a nightclub. The passion was real, but Getty, the nation’s first billionaire, was a tycoon first, and the couple spent almost as much time apart as together.
Told with the long view of nearly 100 years on earth, the breathless stream of consciousness style of the telling propels a dramatic narrative of the glitz and glamour of the gilded age is tempered with the death of their son from a brain tumor. This tale is a glimpse into not only a bygone era, but a woman’s heart.