4 out of 4 stars
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Set in the year 1958 at the Hotel del Coronado, during the filming of the movie, Some Like It Hot, My Friend Marilyn by Christopher Lentz is a delightful narration of life-changing events in the life of Penelope Parker, Penny for short.
Penny is a dime-store cashier who wishes to have her American dream life - a husband, a home, and a best, best, best girlfriend. Her life is best described as imperfect in her eyes based on her plus-size and chaotic family background. She longs for new and perfect, or maybe an opportunity to perfectly love the imperfect. Would she ever find these?
The answer to her dreams might have been offered her on a platter or maybe not, when she wins a contest she never entered for. Winning the contest means she gets to be the go-to girl for famous Hollywood movie star, Marilyn Munroe.
From short-lived romance's to a murder, reconnecting with her family, finding her imperfectly perfect man, and meeting her best, best, best girlfriend, all of Penny's dreams come true. But she must decide if she'd remain in the quiet and serene comfort of Coronado, or step out and embrace the new Hollywood world now open to her. Which one would become her happily ever after?
With 82 short chapters and a prologue and epilogue, this book is about love and friendship and that is what I loved most about it. Like the author succinctly puts it, "Love changes everything". The characters were very relatable and I was easily drawn into the story. Each chapter focused on one scene and used the fade in - fade out patterns. This helped me enjoy the book even more as I could easily follow the conversations and made the transitions smooth.
Although I didn't have a most loved character, I found the connection between Marilyn and Penny most appealing. We all need an atmosphere of sincerity and openness to thrive and to be understood in our way. The author was able to depict this as well as show the role family relationships play in our lives.
There was honestly nothing to dislike about this book. I also didn't find a single error while reading the book and I can say it was professionally edited. For these reasons, I would gladly rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
The book is historical fiction with a tinge of romance and mystery but there were no explicit sex scenes other than kissing. There was however some form of violence and a bit of profanity scattered across the book but not enough to stop your enjoying the book. I would therefore recommend this book for those who value friend relationships and would love a peek into Hollywood life.
I literally couldn't put this book down once I started reading it and as I read the 82nd chapter, I wished there was more. The epilogue shows there could be more though and I'll be on the look out if there'd be a second book.
MY FRIEND Marilyn
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