Author Alex Brunkhorst
Publication Date 8 October 2015
Genre Fantasy Thriller Romance
The story begins with a dinner party invitation…
When young journalist Thomas Cleary is sent to dig up quotes for the obituary of a legendary film producer, the man's eccentric daughter offers him entrée into the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. A small-town boy with working-class roots, Thomas is a stranger in this opulent world of private jets and sprawling mansions.
Then he meets Matilda Duplaine.
Matilda is a beautiful and mysterious young woman who has never left the lush Bel-Air estate where she was raised. Thomas is immediately entranced by the enigmatic girl, and the two begin a secret love affair. But what starts as an enchanted romance soon unravels a web of secrets and lies that could destroy their lives—and the lives of everyone around them—forever.
A modern-day Gatsby tale filled with unforgettable characters and charm, The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine is a sparkling love letter to Los Angeles and a captivating journey beyond the golden gates of its most glamorous estates. Timeless, romantic and utterly absorbing, it is a mesmerizing tale of privilege, identity and the difficult choices we make in the pursuit of power.
I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Thomas is journalist who gets a second chance at his career after a setback in his previous job. He receives an assignment to interview Lily, the daughter of a rich and famous film industry tycoon. He is uncomfortable with the situation as he usually deals with the run of the mill side of the business. When he meets Lily, she invites him to a dinner party where he will be in a good position to obtain "quotes" about her father from those who were familiar with him.
Lily invites him to attend another function but through a misunderstanding, he ends up at the wrong venue. This is where he has his first encounter with the mysterious Matilda and he soon finds out that she is no ordinary girl with no ordinary life. He takes a liking to her but is unable to comprehend her way of life.
Being a journalist, Thomas' curiosity gets the better of him and his situation with Matilda gives him the opportunity to delve into her family background. He comes across information which could take him to the top of the ladder or break him!
I like the way Lily looks after Thomas and gives him some good openings to further his career. I also like the way Thomas interacts with the naive and innocent Matilda and his determination to help her to "open her eyes".
I found the first few chapters rather slow but then the pace becomes faster. I found the ending to be a little too abrupt. An epilogue might have given a better closure.
It's a well written and interesting novel but I feel the pace at the beginning and the abrupt ending spoiled it for me.