Skip to main content

The Blue Butterfly: A Novel of Marion Davies by Leslie Johansen Nack

The Blue Butterfly: A Novel of Marion Davies
Author: Leslie Johansen Nack
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release Date: May 3rd, 2022
Pages: 352

Source: This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: New York 1915, Marion Davies is a shy eighteen-year-old beauty dancing on the Broadway stage when she meets William Randolph Hearst and finds herself captivated by his riches, passion and desire to make her a movie star. Following a whirlwind courtship, she learns through trial and error to live as Hearst’s mistress when a divorce from his wife proves impossible. A baby girl is born in secret in 1919 and they agree to never acknowledge her publicly as their own. In a burgeoning Hollywood scene, she works hard making movies while living a lavish partying life that includes a secret love affair with Charlie Chaplin. In late 1937, at the height of the depression, Hearst wrestles with his debtors and failing health, when Marion loans him $1M when nobody else will. Together, they must confront the movie that threatens to invalidate all of Marion’s successes in the movie industry: Citizen Kane

     My Review: The Blue Butterfly tells the love story between actress Marion Davies and billionaire William Randolph Hearst. When Marion Davies first meets William Randolph Hearst, she is eighteen and has joined Ziegfeld Follies. The two decide to court. However, Marion cannot be William Randolph Hearst’s wife. Instead, she can only be his mistress. This is because his wife refuses to divorce. Marion agrees to this decision. The two have a relationship that lasted for three decades.

    I have heard of the silent film star, Marion Davies, but I did not know much about her life. Thus, I was eager to read The Blue Butterfly that focuses on her romance with William Randolph Hearst. In The Blue Butterfly, I found Marion Davies to be a very unlikable person. This novel showed Marion to be very narcissistic. She seemed to be more interested in William Randolph Hearst’s money than the person himself. She loves the high life and does not care to hurt others as long as she gets what she wants in the end. She also committed many foolish actions. Thus, Marion seemed to be a very cold person that I could not sympathize her actions or relate to her. I felt indifferent to her internal struggles.

    Overall, this novel is about passion, ambition, and change. The characters in the story were very unlikable and selfish. Some of the scenes in this novel were also repetitive. However, there were a few good points about the novel. I did like how Hollywood changed over a period of time. I did like the historical details in the novel, and it is clear the author did her research. I believe fans of Old Hollywood may want to give this novel a try. I recommend The Blue Butterfly for fans of Platinum Doll, Marlene, and Beautiful Invention

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 stars

This is the official book trailer of The Blue Butterfly:


Popular posts from this blog

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to

A Noble Cunning: The Countess and the Tower by Patricia Bernstein: A Book Review

A Noble Cunning: The Countess and the Tower  Author: Patricia Bernstein Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: History Through Fiction  Release Date: March 7, 2023 Pages: 266 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: A Noble Cunning is a novel based on the true story of persecuted Catholic noblewoman Winifred Maxwell, who rescued her husband from the Tower of London with the help of a group of devoted women friends in 1716.             A Noble Cunning is a novel based on the life of Winifred Herbert Maxwell (1680-1749), who became the Countess of Nithsdale in 1699.     Set amidst the 1715 Rebellion against England’s first German king, George I, the novel depicts the ruthless persecution of Catholics and the relentless determination of protagonist Bethan Glentaggart to save the life of husband Gavin after he is captured and condemned to death. Bethan faces down a mob attack on her home, travels alone from the Scottish Lowlands to London through one of the wo

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath