Marilyn Monroe begins appearing on Amanda Grace’s patio dancing, laughing at the moon and gazing at Amanda through the glass doors. Is it possible that Marilyn, against all reason, has somehow transported herself through time and space to contemporary Los Angeles? And why does she haunt Amanda, a model whose beauty is undeniable, but whose talent is questionable?
The visitations begin when Amanda’s mother, Edith, commits suicide, an event that shakes Amanda to her foundation. For, while she has been a successful model, she has always measured herself against her mother, a well-known artist who has overcome severe obstacles. But unlike Edith and her accomplished sister, Joanne, Amanda Grace has not distinguished herself intellectually or artistically, nor even managed to marry and have children. In her eyes, she has failed to live up to her mother’s expectations. Now, with Edith’s death, she has forever lost her chance to prove herself. In her grief, she forgets to eat, sleep, or carry on with life’s simplest tasks. The final blow comes when Amanda accidentally learns she was adopted. With the loss of her family as a touchstone, her foundation crumbles, and her fragile sense of self dissolves completely.
I really enjoyed how the characters were entertwined in this story. I love the glimpses into Marilyn Monroe’s life in the 1960’s. Amanda Grace’s mother had briefly known the Hollywood starlet when Amanda was small. Amanda had even sat on her lap as a child. She only vaguely remembered those moments, but they had happened. As Amanda’s character is introduce and the story develops, we see striking similarities between Amanda Grace and Marilyn Monroe. They both had a public persona to present to the world, but were really hiding behind the mask their personas created. Both struggled with addictions and depression. Their lives were spiraling out of control with no end in sight.
Amanda Grace was a beautiful young model with hopes of becoming an actress. When her mother, Edith Lindsay, a famous artist, commits suicide, she and her sister are left to pick up the pieces and take care of her estate. During the process of cleaning out their mother’s house, Amanda’s younger sister Joanne finds a paper that reveals that Amanda had been adopted. Upon realizing this, Amanda goes into a deeper depression than before. Not knowing who she is or where she came from pushes her farther away from those who love her. She goes to her father for answers, and during the visit he gives her a script for a movie about Marilyn Monroe. Amanda had been having visions of Marilyn Monroe outside her apartment since her mother passed away, and this only encouraged her even more to find out everything she could about her.
Amanda Grace has to find someone to produce the movie her father had provided her. She needed to sell the idea of another movie about Marilyn Monroe. She studied everything she could about the blonde bombshell. She watched her movies, mimicked her motions, began talking like her, dyed her hair, and read every book and article she could get her hands on. During this time, she convinced herself she was the only one fit to play Marilyn. No one else could do it like her. She was born for this role. Unfortunately, the producers she contacted didn’t agree. Her movie and her Marilyn persona were both rejected, leaving her heartbroken and dejected.
About the Author
Lee Zamloch lives on the Central Coast of California where she writes fiction. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals and she has won several honors for her writing including the Booklegger Award for best submission of the year from Toyon and honorable mentions from the Nelson Algren Award, and Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. She has published two novels which are available from Amazon.com in both print and kindle editions. She is currently at work on her next novel.
Lee has been a teacher, a consultant, a college professor and a program designer. She enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and romping with her two Siberian huskies, Sunny and Storm.
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