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Staunch: The Edies of Grey Gardens:

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Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale and her daughter Edie, also known as Big Edie and Little Edie, lived on the South Fork of Long Island in the swanky town of East Hampton, in a house named Grey Gardens. They were the two staunch characters in the Maysles 1976 documentary which has a cult-like following with fans spanning the globe. Based on the real lives of Big and Little Edie Beale, STAUNCH is a women’s contemporary fiction riches-to-rags story.

Two eccentric women. One dysfunctional relationship. Can their shared determination turn disaster into destiny? 

Grey Gardens, 1972. Little Edie Beale had high hopes of becoming a star. Sole companion and caretaker for her mother on a run-down property full of feral animals, tangled overgrowth, and piles of trash, the unmarried fifty-something craves a way out. But when she attempts to burn away some of the clutter, the loyal daughter is horrified when the fire department arrives and triggers a slew of code violations and threats of eviction. 

1923. Big Edie Beale longed to unleash her voice. Born a gifted soprano, she bristled every time her lawyer husband and her father told her to put her stage ambitions aside and manage their sprawling seaside home and gardens. And when she decided to pursue music despite their judgment, the pampered socialite was left divorced with an empty bank account and a house too large to maintain. 

Driven to the brink by her mother’s resolve to stay in the moldering mansion until her last breath, Little Edie seeks help from their well-connected family. And as a film crew shows up to document the pair’s drastic domesticity, Big Edie seizes the chance to speak her piece as Little Edie shines in the spotlight hoping to secure her dreams of fame. 

Can mother and daughter reclaim harmony as they share their heartbreaks with the world? 

Blending her own vivid imagination with fascinating historical facts and cameos from famous figures like Jackie Onassis and Princess Lee Radziwill, Fern Bernstein brings refreshing new perspective to these two staunch characters’ riches-to-rags story. And as she depicts the strong family ties between mothers, daughters, cousins, and nieces, you’ll feel renewed faith in the power of dreams and living life on your own terms. 

Staunch is an emotional women’s fiction novel. If you enjoy headstrong heroines who stand up to society and truth that's stranger than fiction, then you’ll love Fern Bernstein’s unconventional fairy tale.

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