THERE ONCE WAS A TIME by Anne-Marie Rasmussen


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A Norwegian Cinderella who found that the glass slipper pinched once the prince put it on, Anne-Marie was the Rockefellers' kitchen maid before her buxom Scandinavian good looks caught the eye of Nelson's son, Steven. They married, produced three children, but did not live happily ever after. Anne-Marie, writing four years after the divorce, still seems to have stardust in her eyes and it certainly interferes with her vision. She attributes their troubles to the fact that she never got over feeling like ""the luckiest maid in the world."" In any case, soon after the fairy tale wedding she began to lapse into depression and melancholia. The family ""budget"" was too much for her; she felt inhibited because Rockefeller family decorum prohibited ""hugging and kissing Steven at all times and in all places."" When Steven got a job she was upset because she thought that ""his full-time occupation would be to love and take care of me."" She rejected psychiatric help as an insult and was furious and mortified when she discovered that Steven was telling their private life to a shrink. Yet, though clearly not up to coping with high society, she has only nice things to say about the senior Rockefellers, and she's more impressed than she cares to admit by the family's wealth and importance -- even if she was grossed out by Nelson's fondness for sculptures of nudes. This will, inevitably, have a certain voyeuristic interest for those who enjoy spying on the domestic life of the rich and famous, but Anne-Marie, filled with self-pity and cloying sentimentality, is truly the poor little rich girl. You might almost say she was outclassed.

Pub Date: Feb. 14th, 1974
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich