Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe

Author: J. Randy Taraborrelli
Hardcover: 576 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (August 25, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0446580821

Product Description:

When Marilyn Monroe became famous in the 1950s, the world was told that her mother was either dead or simply not a part of her life. However, that was not true. In fact, her mentally ill mother was very much present in Marilyn's world and the complex family dynamic that unfolded behind the scenes is a story that has never before been told...until now. In this groundbreaking book, Taraborrelli draws complex and sympathetic portraits of the women so influential in the actress' life, including her mother, her foster mother, and her legal guardian. He also reveals, for the first time, the shocking scope of Marilyn's own mental illness, the identity of Marilyn's father and the half-brother she never knew, and new information about her relationship with the Kennedy's-Bobby, Jack, and Pat Kennedy Lawford. Explosive, revelatory, and surprisingly moving, this is the final word on the life of one of the most fascinating and elusive icons of the 20h Century.

My review:

Marilyn Monroe was, without question, one of the most intriguingly beautiful women of the 20th century. Not only was she attractive, but she was deeply complex and had a sincere desire to become a great actress.

"The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe" is an examination of her life from beginning to end, opening with an account of Marilyn's foster mother, Ida Bolender, and how Marilyn came to be a part of her family. The book then goes on to chronicle the histories of Marilyn's grandmother, Della; mother, Gladys; and finally the birth and childhood of Norma Jeane (Marilyn's birth name).

The book is not complex in it's writing style and gives the reader a clear and honest portrait of the most sensual actress of our time.

Some chapters are:
*The Voices Return
*Norma Jean in an Orphanage
*Norma Jean Marries
*Marilyn Tries To Meet Her "Father"
*Joe DiMaggio
*Marilyn's Rebellion
*Arthur Miller
*Why Marilyn Was Investigated By The FBI
*Marilyn Is Committed
*How Dare You Betray Me!
*Kennedy Style
*An Overdose Because of JFK?
*many more chapters throughout this 576 page biography.
(And there's always the question of whether Marilyn committed suicide, died of an unintended overdose, or was murdered. The book will give the reader solid clues into the mystery.)

If you are a Monroe fan or just want an interesting read, this will probably be one the most talked about books of 2009. I enjoyed the book, and found out many things about Marilyn that I had not previously read by other writers.

(Thanks to Hachette Book Group for my ARC.)


Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Thank you. I'll be looking for this book.

suZen said...

Sounds good - Barb, when do you sleep? I read a lot, or so I thought. You crank these book reviews out so fast!

Barbara said...

Sandy aka Doris- The book comes out in August, so be looking for it. It's a keeper.

Barbara said...

suZen- I have deadlines, so that keeps me focused AND BUSY!!

Anonymous said...

Both of my daughters are fascinated by Marilyn Monroe. This has given me a good gift idea for the younger one's birthday.

Barbara said...

Marilyn- It would make a great gift for a Norma Jeane fan.

Anonymous said...

Great review. I am going to have to get me a copy of this.

Missy said...

Great review...this is one that I definitely want to read.

marilyn monroe gifts said...

Great review
i like it