“I know that somebody hurt you. Now it’s time for you to fuck shit up, baby lion.”-The Comeback by Ella Berman
There are some books that when you start reading them you know they will stay with you for a while. The Comeback by Ella Berman is one of those books for me. The Comeback is not your typical tale about a starlet who has fallen out of style only to reclaim her fame after finding herself. Ella Berman has created a deeply emotional story about the under belly of the movie industry and the journey of how Grace went from her star power burning out to the reigniting of herself and her career.
Grace Turner was discovered at her school in England and became a child actress with the help of her mentor, Able Yorke. The Comeback starts in the middle of her story. Grace seemingly disappears overnight from the glitz and glam of the Hollywood scene to hideaway at her parent’s house in Anaheim. Grace begins to tell how she ended up where she did in small glimpses. She shares how she was found. How Able and his young wife Emiliana, convinced her parents that Grace was born to be an actress, and that she would be in good hands. It hit me that this was the point in which Grace fell out of her parent’s care. I enjoyed the flashbacks that cutaway from Grace’s present. Meeting characters in the past, and seeing them in her present was a good way to get insight into the inner workings of Hollywood.
The Comeback does not shy away from hard themes. Grace is shaped by Able through horrible manipulation, and psychological tactics. Even though she is utterly hurt and confused about so much, Able is the lifeline that she clings to. She begins to experiment and use alcohol and drugs as a young teen. This evolves into a way to escape the horrible feelings that arise and she cannot find it in herself to deal with.
When Grace realizes that she has a choice to either succumb to the pain that has ravaged her mentally and emotionally for so long, or to start to take her life back and attempt to make Able as miserable as she has become…she begins her comeback.
The Comeback is truly so well done. It was hard to read at times, it is dark, it is depressing, and it is so utterly emotional and raw that I know I will be thinking about this for a long time. As a debut novel, The Comeback, is artful. I have no doubt that Ella Berman will have a long and successful career!
Look for this novel, due out this summer on August 3rd !