…by Lee Zamloch.
Amanda Grace (born Meredith Lindsey) used to be a famous model but her career appears to have taken a nosedive. Her life starts to spiral following the suicide of her mother, the famous artist Edith Lindsey. As Amanda tries to come to terms with her mother’s death and deal with her mother’s estate along with her sister Joanne, there is something else she needs to deal with. Marilyn Monroe who dances on Amanda’s patio and speaks to her. Slowly but steadily, Amanda’s obsession with Marilyn grows. She yearns to play Marilyn in a script she has obtained and attempts to imitate her in every way. Sadly, being a lousy actor, she has some barriers in her path. The obsession though doesn’t seem to wane. Particularly when Amanda realises the answer to a secret her mother took to her grave. By this time though, Amanda herself is unsure of what is reality and what isn’t.
This is a book that looks into the lives of celebrities and our obsession with them. The chapters alternate between 1962 and 1995 following Marilyn Monroe and Amanda Grace respectively. The author has done a brilliant job getting into the heads of both characters. I understand that Marilyn Monroe’s character would have had to be researched. On the other hand, Amanda Grace has some parallels to Monroe’s life and her eventual spiral with mental illness is depicted in a wonderful way making the reader question what is real and what isn’t.
To be honest, if I’d seen this book at a bookstore, it probably wouldn’t have been my first choice. Maybe it has to do with the cover. And the blurb doesn’t reveal much and seems to be more about Marilyn Monroe in some ways. Given that I have a pretty cynical view about celebrities and their lives, this book probably wouldn’t have been my forte but I am so glad I read it. Because, as they say, never judge a book by its cover. This book is a lot deeper than Marilyn Monroe. It’s about the evil that is celebrity. The traps that fame can bring. The loneliness that is often missed by the gossip magazine and the tabloids. It is a critical view into the world of glitz and glamour that so much of the world seems to be enamoured with. And in the end, all is not what it seems.
Until next time,