We have all heard the conspiracy theories of Marilyn Monroe’s life, of how she died, her involvement with the Kennedy’s, the FBI, her relationship with her mother and the search for her father but in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, J. Randy Taraborrelli sets the story straight with first hand accounts from the people who knew her.
Everyone, whether they have seen a movie with Marilyn Monroe in it or not, you can mention her name and people know who she is. An icon, absolutely. Sex symbol, without a doubt. But very few know the true depths of her tumultuous upbringing, being bounced from home to home and the demons she would face later on. For a woman who still holds a place in today’s popular culture, her life was truly a sad one.
Her life was no mere rags to riches kind of story. Was she able she make men want her, women want to be her, capture an entire country’s imagination and bed a president? Absolutely. But there was more to Marilyn Monroe than sex and fame. She started off as the beautiful Norma Jeane, an infant, given to a neighbour to raise until she was 7 years old, where she was taken away by her mentally ill mother. She was moved around from home to home, then to an orphanage where she was then put into a marriage to avoid another stay at the orphanage again. Throughout her young life, she was always told how beautiful she was. She would later take photos that would catapult her into fame and eventually turn into the Marilyn Monroe. One could argue that had she had been given somewhat of a stable upbringing that maybe she wouldn’t have died at such a young age of 36 as a result of an overdose. But then again, it was from this she pooled all her strength to become the Marilyn that we all know and love.
Taraborrelli writes so emotionally, that you cannot help but feel the sadness, the abandonment, and the rejection that Marilyn felt. You read first hand how many people cared for her, tried to help her, but at the time with psychology and modern medicine being so backwards, you feel as helpless as she did. His first hand accounts from the people who knew her blows the myths, the rumours out of the water and leaves the truth, naked and exposed for all our prying eyes, needing to know more about Marilyn. The candor leaves your nerves raw, your heart ache and your soul weep. Taraborrelli lets us all into The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.