Featured New Release of The Week: The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

This week, we’re talking about a new to me time period of historical fiction from yet another new to me Lake Union author. This week, we’re talking about The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio.

This was an excellent tale of going on a quest to find one’s true self – and along the way, we meet and get a very human look at some Hollywood legends in Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon. Monroe in particular is central to the tale in the back half of the book, even when off screen – she inadvertently provides a major revelation, just from being human and wanting something comforting from her childhood.

But the tale of Kate Morgan’s quest to find herself is the tale of the book, and it is truly beautifully executed. From frustrated waitress in her family’s restaurant to naive traveler to finding herself in a place she never actually thought she’d be, Kate is truly the star of this book – even with Monroe present in several scenes with her.

And then there is the titular Beautiful Stranger – the one Kate is sent on a quest to find. The author’s decision to end every chapter with more of this being’s perspective is intriguing, and in fact drives much of the story as it unfolds. And yes, there is in fact another beautiful stranger in the book, hence the plural of the title. But who is it? Well, you’ll just need to read the book… 😉

And as always, the Goodreads/ Amazon review:

Beautifully Executed. Set during the 1958 filming of the 1960 Golden Globe Aware Winner for Best Motion Picture- Comedy SOME LIKE IT HOT, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, Di Maio’s work here takes just enough historically accurate details and uses them to make her fictional world and its tale all the more real. Indeed, all three award winning actors make appearances in the book, and one of them even advances a crucial plot point. But the tale here is one of leaving home to find your true destiny, and it is in this tale that the book truly shines. Kate Morgan steals every scene she is in and is one of the more loveable main characters I’ve come across of late. The mystery of the Beautiful Stranger is compelling, and the execution of including the Stranger’s perspective at the end of every chapter really keeps things moving nicely. This was my first book from Ms. Di Maio. It won’t be my last.