4 out of 4 stars
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MY FRIEND Marilyn by Christopher Lentz is an entertaining story of friendship. Based on real-life characters that include Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis, this story tells how a young woman in a small town became acquainted with a Hollywood star during the filming of a movie. It deals with the ups and downs of small-town and Hollywood lifestyle while keeping the reader engaged with genuinely memorable characters.
The plot begins with the history of hauntings at the Hotel del Coronado in California. The mysterious woman in black turns up throughout the story keeping things interesting. The dedication to the author’s mother was very touching. It is also significant that he dedicates the book to women everywhere, going into detail about the work they do, as well as the hardships they endure. I liked this author’s style even before I began reading this story.
Christopher Lentz emphasizes love in his writing. Like so many others, I did like the movie Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon made together called Some Like It Hot. Knowing this book was woven around that location brought the backdrop of this book to life for me. The fade-ins and fade-outs at the beginning and end of each chapter add to the movie-like feel of this book. The twists and turns in the plot make a romantic story even more inviting.
I liked the character development the most in this book. Characters like that of Great Auntie Edna are a treasure, but I felt like she deserved more than just one scene in the book. The role of the gypsy Esmeralda was fun for the reader. Some of the times spent between Penny and Marilyn seemed a lot like juvenile pranks rather than adult women with professional roles in a new friendship, but they still made for an enjoyable read. Penny’s long association with Tilly Carlisle is an excellent addition to the book. It outlines both sides of Hollywood, the old age of films and the new.
I couldn’t find anything to dislike about this story. It is a little bit of reality mixed with fantasy. Add to that the glitz and glamour of a bygone era, and you have this book. An essential addition to any bookshelf, I believe it will have a particular appeal to readers who love movies set in Hollywood style in 1958. If you like darker stories associated with the life of Marilyn Monroe, this book will be a disappointment. It does have a surprise ending that should please even the most demanding of readers. I rate this book with 4 out of 4 stars. Although I did find a few errors, it seems to be professionally edited and well written. I would give it more if it were possible. It’s highly entertaining!
MY FRIEND Marilyn
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