|Rita Hayworth feeling bookish|
Tuesday, March 02, 2021
1. What are you currently reading? My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing. Dark, disturbing and twisty! A tennis pro and his realtor wife have been together 15 years. They have a nice home and a pair of kids (one boy, one girl). They're happy enough, but they're bored. They want to restore the spark in their marriage. They need something to bring them together again. A shared hobby. You know, like stalking, torture and murder.
One of the things that makes this book so creepy is that it's told from the husband's point of view. His narration makes it all seem more intimate, like we're somehow complicit.
2. What did you recently finish reading? If This Was Happiness by Barbara Leaming. Rita Hayworth was gorgeous, the most popular pin-up girl of WWII. A movie star so loved by the troops that they painted her image on the bomb dropped on Bikini Atoll in 1946. Her image is so enduringly seductive that she was practically a character in 1994's Shawshank Redemption, made 7 years after her death.
Yet her life story was far less than glamorous. In fact, it's staggeringly sad. When told Rita referred to their failed relationship as the happiest time of her life, ex-husband Orson Welles responded, "If this was happiness, imagine what the rest of her life had been!" As presented by Barbara Leaming, her life began with incest and ended with Alzheimer's, with alcoholism, abortion and betrayal along the way.
The author presents the tragic truth behind the glittering image in a sober, not sensational way. I appreciated the respect and compassion she showed Rita. I just wish her story had been happier.
3. What will read next? I don't know ...