Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine: A Novel / Alex Brunkhorst / 314 pages / 10 discs

   If you have read any my previous postings my penchant for The Great Gatsby is well-known. I have found yet another novel that has been compared to the classic. I should know better but I cannot resist. Mostly the comparisons have failed in my eyes and I am feeling a little ambivalent about Matilda as well.
   Our narrator is an exiled journalist who was accused of plagiarism in New York City. He has fled across the country and is working for the Times in Los Angeles. Thomas Cleary has been sent to collect a quote or two from the daughter of a famous film director. Thomas has been reduced from writing front page news to doing the obituaries in the entertainment section. From that incidental meeting, he is swept into the world of Lily Goldman and her high powered and monied Hollywood friends. He is showered with opportunities that change his lifestyle and work environment.
   During one of these events, he meets a young woman playing tennis at night. He is completely captivated by her beauty and odd sense of the world. Her name is Matilda and she has not been allowed to leave father's estate since she has been born. Her every wish has been catered to by her father. These two go to great lengths to protect their relationship and try to find a way to survive in the world outside of Bel-Air.
   The descriptions of Hollywood, its residents plus the trip to Hawaii was just skillful. I really enjoyed some of the word play

     "We walked out between the gates. They were timed to close quickly behind us-they 
        had secrets to keep after all-and when they did I heard the rattle of iron.
       Then it went silent."

    I recommend this book for the summer beach readers, who like romance, cliff-hangers and just a bit of heartbreak.

6 Degrees of Reading: The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin, Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford, The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

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