Dorothy May Kinnicutt (‘Sister’ to her family and friends) was born into a patrician New York family in 1910 and spent her privileged early life at the right schools, yacht clubs and coming-out parties. Compelled to work during the lean years of the Depression, Sister combined her innate design ability with her high-echelon social connections to create an extraordinarily successful interior decorating business. The Parish-Hadley firm’s list of clients reads like an American Who’s Who, starting with Rockefellers, Astors, Whitneys, Paleys and Kennedys. She helped Jacqueline Kennedy transform the White House from a fusty hodgepodge into a historically authentic symbol of American elegance. For her clients, she was an indispensable presence, both in their salons and designing them. Sister’s style, marked by cosy, airy, colourful but understated elegance, came to be known as ‘American country’, and its influence continues to this day. Compiled by Apple Parish Bartlett (one of Sister’s daughters) and Susan Bartlett Crater (a granddaughter) from Sister’s own unpublished memoirs, as well as from hundreds of interviews with family members, friends, staff, world-renowned interior designers (Mark Hampton, Mario Buatta, Keith Irvine, Bunny Williams and Sister’s long-time partner Albert Hadley, among many others) and clients (Annette de la Renta, Glenn Bernbaum, Mrs. Tom Watson, et al.), Sister Parish takes the reader right into the houses – and the lives – of some of the most fascinating and famous people of this inimitable woman’s time.