This week, we’re featuring a book from one of our newer publishers, Waverly Lee Media (learn what they’re all about here!). The Middleburg Mystique by Vicky Moon has received some wonderful reviews, and we’re excited to share some with you. Read on the hear what readers have been saying about this fascinating glimpse into one of America’s most desirable zip codes…
Book Review: The Middleburg Mystique
Laurie Berglie | Maryland Equestrian
“The Middleburg Mystique, by Vicky Moon (author of Equestrian Style), does a superb job describing this very elite section of hunt country.”
“Moon paints a very distinct picture of this area of northern Virginia. Two descriptors for the residents here are, wealthy and equestrian.”
“Moon elaborately tells of famous residents, such as the Kennedys and Liz Taylor, but also touches on a variety of scandals that have rocked this town. This book is a must-read for anyone wanting to learn more about this posh equestrian community, and it inspired me to visit back in October.”
Dishing on Middleburg: Author writes ‘all the dirt’ book about elite northern Virginia town
Hannah Menchhoff | Fairfax County Times
“To experience her writing in ‘The Middleburg Mystique’ is what I imagine is the same experience as her talking right to you. From page one, she is dishing the dirt. Moon is “The Gilmore Girls” equivalent to Taylor Doose or Miss Patty. Like Gilmore fans may have once thought of Stars Hollow, even if you never thought you had interest in Middleburg, Moon will quickly change your mind.”
“With any small town, there is drama and Middleburg has no shortage of it. Moon goes in deep, more than I wanted almost, of the ostentatious life and home of former Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke. She also investigated the rumor, which turned out to be so true you have heard it in a movie, of Robert Duvall’s wife running off with ‘The Pool Man.’ The stories are Hollywood and so is the way Moon describes these people.”
About the Book
To the passerby, Middleburg, Virginia looks like just another pretty country town, with rolling fields and a quaint downtown. But writer Vicky Moon, shows that this village just 50 miles west of Washington, D.C., is not your ordinary country hamlet in THE MIDDLEBURG MYSTIQUE: A Peek Inside the Gates of Middleburg, Virginia.
“The town has always included a cast of local characters, ” Moon says. “And as one resident aptly notes, ‘We have one of everything here.’” That everything includes politicians (the Kennedys, Harrimans), Hollywood celebrities (actors Robert Duvall, Elizabeth Taylor), philanthropists (Paul Mellon, the Firestones), as well as a cast of local residents that once prompted a visitor to ask, “What is it about you people out there in Middleburg? Is there something in the well water?”
THE MIDDLEBURG MYSTIQUE reveals why “20118” is such a desirable zip code. Through the years, there have been scandalous stories of divorce, such as when actor Robert Duvall’s wife ran off with the “hunky” pool man; and murders among the rich, like when arms heiress Susan Cummings shot her Argentinean polo-playing lover.
Moon also tells stories of other less notorious, but still fascinating residents, such as 77-year-old Anna Beavers, who has spent her life collecting clothing for poor children, namely the employees of wealthy farm owners. There’s the freelance bartender who drinks his own mistakes—and often needs a ride home. And the party hostess who refused to call the rescue squad when her bartender died just as the guests were arriving—the poor soul couldn’t be helped anyway, so why ruin the festivities? The same woman taught her 13-year-old grandson how to make a perfect Whiskey Sour on the theory that it was a necessary part of his liberal arts education, along with art appreciation and opera.
Moon’s book is not just a collection of stories about the wealthy and their quirks, though. Scattered throughout are recipes for dishes served at traditional Middleburg events, such as the annual Hunt Breakfast (usually held at 2 PM). In these pages you learn how to tailgate Middleburg style—as well as make TV weatherman Willard Scott’s famous Strawberry Pie, and the ham biscuits served at Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding to Senator John Warner. Another chapter is devoted entirely to the gardens of Middleburg—and the four garden clubs that serve the area. And no description of Middleburg would be complete with some attention to the most important events in this horse-obsessed town: the fox hunts and steeplechase races.