... handsome and comprehensive ... Kastner, the former official historian of Hearst Castle, doesn’t have much dazzle to work with in Morgan’s personal life. But she does an excellent job chronicling the work that made her a pioneer architect and engineer ... Kastner’s words, along with Alexander Vertikoff’s photography, provide a sweeping overview of Morgan’s vast, versatile body of work. You’ll want to get a hard copy of this book; e-readers don’t do justice to the photos or the layout. It’s a volume to hold in your hands and savor. When you’re done, you might consider a tour of the many Morgan structures throughout the Bay Area.
Kastner’s book resurrects the architect’s professional impact on the field of architecture and on the California landscape ... The author also weaves in diary entries, letters, and interviews with the architect’s coworkers and family, giving us a glimpse at Morgan’s elusive, unique personality. Kastner’s book reveals Morgan to be a humble hard worker and devoted friend, who shied away from media attention and accolades throughout her life.
... part biography, part coffee table decor — that walks us briskly through the life and career of an extraordinary woman. If it never feels particularly 'intimate,' that’s partly because Julia Morgan was a tough nut to crack, partly because Kastner seems reluctant to try ... Kastner doesn’t speculate even when the material almost begs for it ... The 'intimate' life of a sexually abstinent, emotionally controlled, discreet workaholic isn’t one that keeps you turning the pages late into the night...The work itself is another story, and Kastner’s book is lavishly illustrated with Morgan’s delicate drawings and gorgeous finished creations