Time with Norma Jeane- Elyse Douglas

Time with Norma Jeane is the perfect novel for fans of Marilyn Monroe or simply those who want to gain an insight into her life in an easy, lighthearted way.

Darla is a teenage girl who struggles to fit in. Her mother, a huge Monroe fan, passed away when she was young and Darla has maintained her mother’s interest in Norma Jeane to escape from the troubles in her life.

This is a time-travel novel but the transitions are so well written, they weave naturally into the story and don’t feel forced.

Author Elyse Douglas manages to successfully weave known facts about Marilyn’s life into the narrative, such as her sometimes volatile marriage to Joe DiMaggio, whilst also speculating as to whether her circumstances could have been different if someone had been able to intervene and change the course of her future. Monroe’s vulnerability is perfectly portrayed.

A really enjoyable read!

A Dream Called Marilyn- Mercedes King

With the mystery surrounding the enigma that was Marilyn Monroe and the conspiracy theories that still abound years after her death, a fictional novel based around her final days is always likely to intrigue and this story by Mercedes King doesn’t disappoint.

Told through the eyes of psychiatrist Dr Charles Campbell, enlisted by Fox Studio to bring Marilyn under control so she is fit to resume filming, the reader is taken on a journey as he wrestles not only with the difficulties of maintaining a professional relationship with a Hollywood icon, but also the complexities of his own personal life.

The style of writing allows Marilyn to come alive in the eyes of the reader. We see her vulnerability, her desire to be truly loved and her insecurities- all the things we have come to associate her with over the years, revealed through her dialogue with Campbell in a way that you can almost picture the scenes and hear her voice.

There is also a much darker side to the book, as both Campbell and Monroe find their lives in danger. For years since her death, many have refused to accept the coroner’s suicide verdict, believing that the secrets she carried were too much of a threat to the Kennedy dynasty and that there was a plot to ensure she was kept quiet. This story explores this possibility, although at the end, we are still left in the dark as to the real truth.

A short, yet compelling read.