The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by J. Randy Taraborrelli

By Tahsin, member of Dufferin/St.Clair Branch Youth Advisory Group

"This is the story of a girl named Norma Jeane Mortensen. She created and became a woman more fascinating than even she believed possible." 

IndexI've always found Marilyn Monroe fascinating. Here was a girl named Norma Jeane that did exactly what the author above wrote, and so extraordinarily well.

Before reading, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by Randy J. Taraborrelli, I always thought I was interested in Marilyn Monroe the woman more than the actress, and here I definitely did find out a bit more about her. And most of what I found out was bad. Yes, there was obviously light on all the good she did, but I already knew about that; what this book did was lead me to her darker aspects of which I did not know. I didn't enjoy the author's writing so much, for I read too much about his own opinions. A good biography, I think, avoids the author's own opinion as much as possible. However, I am still grateful for what I did learn.  
I found Marilyn Monroe pitiful, fascinating, and irritating. One of the things that annoyed me the most was how desperately she tried to make the public view her as a victim, and how often she lied to do so, and about good people. I always understood she was trying to protect her mother when she claimed she was dead, but how Marilyn treated Ida Bolender was horrible in my eyes. Perhaps I'm too loyal to those who I love, or who have treated me well. Regardless, I found it upsetting and so did Ida Bolender. Marilyn's excuse of trying to shift the public's opinion, and so forth, does not satisfy me.