Thursday, May 19, 2016


This was a book I stayed home to read over one entire weekend because I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.  So I cancelled all else, didn't even bother to cook or even bath, and was well rewarded for sticking with it.  There was a mastery of the writer's art of telling a story here that was so good that there were times reading it when I broke down in tears, or got "the chills," and scenes that stuck with me for days after I closed the last page which was nothing less than a triumph.  

I know that Oates did a lot of research of her own, not just leaning on books claiming nonfiction that have been written by this actress who has captured the world's imagination, so those of you who have read a lot of Marilyn-themed books as I have would probably have that same urge to think : Finally someone has gotten it right!

This book was a finalist for the National Book Award, which means that it is literary fiction that was highly regarded by those in the know.  Like many people I was lured to read it by the cover (there have been many different cover designs) that are extremely suggestive of MARILYN MONROE.  So one thing a reader should not skip is the disclaimer at the front of the book that says that this is a work of fiction based on Marilyn Monroe, meaning that the author, JOYCE CAROL OATES is having her creative way with the Marilyn Monroe story.  And to be honest, even if you had never heard of MARILYN MONROE, you could think "Ah, the story of an actress of the late forties and 1950's in Hollywood," and you would still be moved.  Excellent!

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