Eileen writes about her great-grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, and how he left school so he could make money to help the family. His first job was as an assistant book keeper, and he worked for several months for no salary to prove himself. When they finally started paying him, he kept meticulous ledgers showing where every penny he made went. It was interesting to see that he was a charitable man, even when he had no money. At one point, in those early days, he gave money to a black man in Cincinnati so he could buy his wife out of slavery. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the little anecdotes that this book offered. It gave me a little glimpse into the life we all envied years ago.
As an adult I realized that with wealth often comes anxiety and more responsibility than many can handle. Eileen talks about being chauffeured to school along with her siblings and being embarrassed enough to jump out of the car blocks away from the school. She wanted to enter like everyone else. Her mother tried to teach them not to stand out...not an easy feat if you were a Rockefeller. Her mother went through bouts of depression, her dad worked constantly and sibling rivalry added to her stresses. She ended up seeing many therapists through her years, and I believe this book helps show that everyone faces his or her own demons in life, and money is far from a guarantee that life will be easy.
Eileen married a wonderful man though, and tried to raise her children with the love and attention she lacked. I found myself liking Eileen Rockefeller and rooting for her as I read. If you enjoy biographies and ever wondered what life would be like after winning the lottery, this book is one you might enjoy. It certainly put some things in perspective for me.
Publisher - Blue Rider Press
Date of Publication - September 12, 2013