Saturday, August 13, 2016

THE BLONDE BY Anna Godbersen


Publisher:     Hachette       
Published:     May 13, 2014
ISBN:        B00IHGVSR8
Genre:       Alternate History
Format:     Ebook
Obtained via:  Publisher via Edelweiss
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina



She was a goddess who was beloved by all.

Or was she a lonely young woman who only wanted to be loved?

Or…was she something more?  Is there a chance she was actually a very intelligent woman who, in pursuit of a thrill, became a soviet spy with the goal of bringing down a president? 

In the days leading up to the presidential election of 1959 Marilyn Monroe is recruited by a Soviet spy to find out something about Jack Kennedy.  They want to control and possibly bring down the American President.  With promises of reuniting her with her father, Marilyn Monroe agrees to help them.  After all, her Russian handler helped her become the star she always wanted to be.  Or did he?

Unhappy with her marriage to playwright Arthur Miller, Marilyn has no problem seducing Jack.  It’s not like she is a stranger to infeldity.  But Jack Kennedy has a certain charisma…something that Marilyn cannot help but fall for.  Are they star crossed lovers?  Or are they players in a game only one can win?

From the first time I saw the Norma Jean movie staring Carol Baker I was fascinated by Marilyn Monroe’s story.  When I fisrt saw her movies, even as a teen, I remember marvelling at her talent.  She wasn’t just a blonde woman many of my generation aspired to be like—she was funny in movies like How to Marry a Millionaire and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  And she was dramatic in movies like Bus Stop and Asphalt Jungle.  When I saw Godbersen’s book, THE BLONDE I had to check it out.

I was pretty disappointed.  The Marilyn in the book was not the Marilyn I knew from her movies and the biographies I’ve read about her.  Yes, her intelligence was seen in the pages of the book, as was the tragedy that permeated her life.  It was the writing that left me flat.  I just did not feel any emotion in the story.  There was a lot of telling—particularly in the scenes with the FBI agent trailing her.  But I never really felt her anger, her passion or the heights of happiness she would have with Kennedy.  I suppose in part my disappointment in the story is from my own wanting Marilyn to have a happier ending than the one she truly had.  Alternate histories can sometimes bring a resolution you wanted better; but when you know how it really ended, sometimes unless the writing is very strong, you just cannot suspend belief. 

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

No comments: