ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Historical Fiction, Romance

The Blue Butterfly, by Leslie Johansen Nack

AVAILABLE May 3, 2022

A beautiful cover. An intriguing title. The Roaring Twenties. Prohibition. Hollywood glamour. The true story of the richest man in the country and a young, unsuccessful actress. Surely these ingredients make for a gripping story?

I had high hopes for The Blue Butterfly. The 30 year relationship between William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies is, no doubt, interesting. However, the more I read, the more I wondered if it is a story that really needs to be told–especially a fictionalized account from the point of view of Davies herself, who is anything but a sympathetic character. Even though it was Hearst that pursued Davies, the fact that he was world famous and married with five sons brings the story to a predictable end before it even begins.

The whole thing reads like a diary entry of bad decisions. The tentacles of their choices reach farther and farther over the years, creating devastating effects in the lives of others. What else could happen? I didn’t really care. Davies comes across as immature and selfish. Hearst is either manipulative or a beaten-down puppy dog of a man. How can we root for either of them? We can’t.

6.5/10 Stars

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