I love learning about people’s lives and what makes them who they are. It’s always been something that fascinates me, so when I get a chance to read a book that is based on someone’s life, I take it.
I was at the library recently (yes, I still go to the library) and I saw this book that simply said Blonde. It didn’t register to me that the blonde it was referring to was actually Marilyn Monroe. As I read what the book was about, I became interested.
Marilyn has always been a person that truly intrigues me. I wondered how she handled the pressures of her life as a sexual icon and celebrity and if she really was all that ditzy as she seemed to be. There is something so mysterious behind her fake blonde hair, hour-glass figure and soft-spoken persona. And although the great author who wrote the book, Joyce Carol Oates, says many times it is a book of fiction more than actual biography, I knew a lot of the stuff she wrote in it was true from reading actual facts about Marilyn’s life.
Oates wrote the book in such a way that left me unable to put it down. I was in love with the style she wrote it in, how she filled in the blanks of Marilyn’s life with what she believed might have happened to this young woman who was used and abused by so many people of Hollywood.
Although there may be a lot of fiction in the story, there is a lot of truth. Oates just had to fill in missing holes to create a complete work about a woman who was truly misunderstood and turned into the world’s play thing, instead of a human being who actually had something to say.
I cried many times throughout the book, knowing that this woman simply yearned to be loved. It makes it all the harder to read, because she was alive and real in the world once. She was a human being with just as many insecurities and pain as the rest of us. But she didn’t have the right kind of love she always desired, so she was always searching for it from anyone who seemed like they would give it out to her.
This book is definitely for adults only. It does have a lot of thematic stuff and some descriptive moments about Marilyn’s sexual past that you can choose to easily skim through, in order to get to the crux of the book.
Blonde is beautifully written and taught me a lot about having compassion on those I may judge at first glance but don’t know the story underneath. If you like learning about people’s lives, take a look at this one. You’ll be glad you did.