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The Memoir of Johnny Devine

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  57 reviews
Love can’t rewrite the pages of one’s past, but it can cover a multitude of sins---one page at a time.

Premise: A WW2 widow hired to write an exclusive memoir lands on McCarthy’s hit list and must clear her name while trying not to fall in love with the born-again, ex-Hollywood heartthrob whose scandalous past keeps him too busy to notice her. Or does it?

Summary: In 1953, d
Paperback, 279 pages
Published December 1st 2015 by Ashberry Lane Publishing
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Joanne Bischof
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I had the pleasure of reading this book and it instantly went to the top of my all time favorites list. I won't share much about the plot as it's just way too fun to discover on one's own so I'll just say this - I started it at noon and finished it a bit after midnight and somewhere in between HAD to cook dinner and sort of have a life (which was really difficult!) so OH BOY...this book was so fantastic. Absolutely no surprise that it got 5 stars from RT book reviews. It's one that I read on eBo ...more
Just after the close of WW2, war widow Eliza is trying to make ends meet; she’s having a hard time holding down a job in post-war California. As a war widow, she’s entirely dependent on her own efforts to earn a living. When she gets a chance to become a ghostwriter, she can’t say no.

Then there’s Johnny—damaged by his own past excesses and scarred by war wounds, but finding new life in his new faith.

I really loved this story. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story about the McCarthyites before an
Carole Jarvis
Reviewed at The Power of Words:

What a fresh and unique voice Camille Eide has! The first two thoughts that enter my mind are that 1) this is why I read Christian fiction, and 2) the major publishing houses should be beating on Camille’s door.

The Memoir of Johnny Devine is set in 1953 during a time when fear of communism ran high and everyone was suspected until proven innocent. It’s a well written and intelligent book, one that will make you think. I was born in 1947, so I
Lady Delacour
1953, Johnny Devine
is writing his Memoir.
Great premise and time.
Looking forward to more
of Camille Eide's work.
3.9 Nicely Done Stars.
100% Clean
Andrea Cox
Oct 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
by Andrea Renee Cox

Well, Camille Eide has done it again. Swept me away to another time and place. Once I opened the pages of The Memoir of Johnny Devine (okay, so I was reading it on my computer as I was copyediting it), I found myself transplanted to 1950s California. I immediately fell in love with the characters, especially Millie and Eliza. I liked Johnny Devine too, picturing Gary Cooper in my mind.

This story has thematic elements that are not appropriate for younger audiences. But it is de
Sadie VanderKodde
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I honestly expected a little more since this book was so highly rated. I did enjoy it and it was well written, but it didn't compel a 5 star rating out of me.

My major point of contention is that Johnny's age is never explicitly stated. At one point he refers to his age in a certain year, so I could probably do the math if I really cared to, but it left me a little confused throughout the whole story. Is he going to be the love interest or is he way too old for her? Does he walk with a cane becau
Apr 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It's not often that I find a book that keeps me up at night reading. This one definitely kept my complete interest until I finished it. Also contains some very swoon-worthy kissing scenes.

I won this book in a Facebook giveaway, sponsored by the author. I wasn't asked to leave a review, but I did anyway because it's a good book.
Anna Hurtt
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend and I am so very glad that I did. This is a beautiful, emotionally-charged story that grabs your attention from the very beginning. The author writes some beautiful turns of phrase and descriptions that are delightful and enjoyable. It moves at a steady pace with several well-placed conflicting events that keep the book from dragging along like some romances tend to do. The sympathetic characters, sweet romance, and intriguing mysteries mak ...more
Carla Stewart
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was privileged to read this story from the first snippets through the final draft. From the beginning, I was mesmerized by the concept, and being a lover of all things nostalgic, Camille – who usually writes contemporary – astounded me with her talent for reaching back into the pages of time and delivering a story that not only resonates, but is packed with wonderful romantic tension, just like the old films I love to catch on Netflix. Here’s my short endorsement, which doesn’t do this story j ...more
Sarah Sundin
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Combining the romance of classic Hollywood, the intrigue of the Cold War era, and a stirring spiritual message, The Memoir of Johnny Devine is unforgettable. Eliza, John, and all the supporting characters are compelling, and Camille Eide’s strong and evocative writing brings the story to life. A novel to savor.
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't remember who recommended this to me but it was a fun read. It takes place in post WWII America. A war widow struggles to make ends meet and is forced to get work through a temp agency helping a reformed Hollywood star write his memoir to help change lives. I enjoyed a lot of this. I found the McCarthyism a little forced, but otherwise it was good. ...more
The Memoir of Johnny Devine delves into an era and setting that is not touched on much in Christian fiction. I applaud the author for taking the chance because it certainly pays off. Her writing style is fresh and engaging, and I really enjoyed the time I spent with these characters. I wasn't expecting this story to have so many elements to it - romance, yes, but also family secrets, suspense, and a hint of danger. The plot flows smoothly, and there really isn't a point that things lulled for me ...more
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Rachel by: Carrie Schmidt (Reading is My SuperPower)
Shelves: bookworm-mama
Hollywood, glamour, fame, and misery. When Eliza and John meet, they have no idea how much they will end up needing each other.

I LOVE the setting that Camille Eide has chosen for this novel. Post WWII in California, with a Hollywood star, the "Red Scare", and a woman pushing toward her dream even if it doesn't fit the mold people expect.

I instantly fell in love with the main characters of this book. Eliza with her forthright attitude and determination to give a voice to those who have none. Jo
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Camille Eide’s new release, The Memoir of Johnny Devine, is one of those special reads you hope to find, but rarely do. It’s a unique story that plays out in glamorous 1950’s Hollywood. With a unique quiet tension, the story builds, drawing readers into the lives of heartthrob, Johnnie Devine and unpretentious, Eliza Saunderson, co-writer of Johnnie’s memoir.

While Johnnie’s past carries the two collaborators into a maelstrom of memories they are also drawn to each other and their own story. In
Keli Gwyn
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Memoir of Johnny Devine was the best book I read in 2015. RT Book Reviews gave it a rare FIVE-gold star Top Pick. It's also a Reviewers’ Choice Award nominee, December Seal of Excellence winner and Book of the Year nominee. It’s easy to see why. Set in the 1950’s during the height of McCarthy’s Red Scare, this fictional tale about a reformed playboy movie star and the writer hired to help him tell his story—a young woman in need of reform—is by far the best redemption story I’ve ever read. T ...more
Brandy Vallance
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! A fantastic story, I felt like I had been transported back to old Hollywood. I loved the main characters and one of the supporting characters--Millie--quickly made her way into my heart. The romantic tension is great--a must for me! As a lover of history, I loved finding out about the Red Scare, a subject I knew little about. It was very poignant to read about some of the prejudice during the time of the book. This book has some great truths in it and I dog-eared quit ...more
Quote from the book:
"Grace takes far more strength than hate does.
Because grace isn’t given based on what’s fair or deserved. It’s an undeserved gift, given deliberately. Maybe that’s why it’s easier for people to dole out justice than grace. And maybe that’s why some of us find grace so difficult to accept."
Cara Grandle
May 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Poignant book. Hopeful and sage with an old-soul depth. The kind of book that leaves you better off. What a story. Not a predictable read. Unique.
Carissa (Regency Woman)

The Plot

Ms. Eide had me at 1953, and really won me over with the reality of Eliza's plight and her determination and pluck to continue writing, even though her topics about racial, ethnic, and gender oppression were considered subversive for the era. The Memoir of Johnny Devine superbly captures the raw emotions and fears bubbling so near the surface in the early 1950s, all because the 'red scare' was sweeping through the US like a flash flood, snatching at the innocent along with the guilty.

Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. This author loves the Lord indefinitely. It. has come through her writing and her characters.
Johnny Devine is a broken person until he meets Jesus for the first time in his life.
He learns that Jesus will forgive us our sins and can help us turn our lives around if we truly want it. I believe this man does. Especially after what he puts in his memoir.
I was astounded by what this man has done in his life. I was pleased that he wanted to use his memoir to lead ppl to Go
I was truly blown away by acclaimed author Camille Eide’s powerful and inspiring story, A Memoir of Johnny Devine. Eliza Saunderson is requested to help ex-Hollywood star Johnny Devine write his memoir. She is in desperate need of the money and accepts. As Eliza learns about Johnny’s life of past regrets and secrets, she must deal with her own struggles, as her parent’s unknown ethnicity and past catch up with her and is accused of being a Russian communist and spy. This story reaches a deep pla ...more
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
The Memoir of Johnny Devine turned out to be not at all what I was expecting—and I mean that in the best way. I thought I'd be reading a Golden Age of Hollywood romance, and while there is some romance present, this novel is about so much more.

John's story—from being a high school dropout running from his past to becoming one of Hollywood's leading men to finding the Lord and changing his priorities—is simply fascinating. It also feels so real. In fact, I finished the novel wishing I could pick
Kerry Johnson
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Memoir of Johnny Devine is a treasure of a story. A story I couldn't unwrap fast enough, page after page. I knew it had to be good, after sky-high praise from writing friends I trust.

But I really couldn't put down this gripping tale of a writer/journalist collaborating on the memoir of an ex-Hollywood heartthrob. Desperate, wary Eliza and humble, broken John were so very real, their lives and hurts so vivid, I felt like I might run into them walking down the street.

The author's detail to t
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Eliza Saunderson is a widow struggling to earn a living as a writer. Notoriously famous Johnny Devine is an actor writing a memoir with a message. Unfortunately, he knows more about Hollywood than he does about authoring a book.

When Eliza is sent by an employment agency to edit a manuscript, she has no idea that the book’s author is a Hollywood legend—until she meets him. Based on his reputation, she is hesitant to work with him, but she needs the promised salary. The charm of The Memoir of Jo
Toni Shiloh
Jan 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
From the blurb, I figured this book was going to be a good historical romance with a little mystery thrown in. But it was so much more than that. Let me first tackle the historical and mystery aspect. If you haven't heard about the Red Scare, then Ms. Eide's novel is a great way to be introduced to the trials people suffered. To sympathize and empathize with the people who came under scrutiny. My heart ached for Eliza as she came under suspicion for communist ties. The mystery kept me on edge, m ...more
Karen Barnett
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
I love stories that are set in unique time periods, especially when the author does the work needed to truly capture the era. Camille Eide does that in spades. From the magical silver screen and Hollywood gossip all the way through McCarthy’s hunt for communists, this novel drops you head first into the 1950s and you won’t step out until you’ve read the final page. And trust me–the finish is “sigh-worthy.” Not only is the romance tender, the story is a beautiful rendition of God’s grace and forg ...more
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Camille does not disappoint with this book, it was a fantastic read. Set in 1953, it is the beautiful story of a women called Eliza struggling to live independently in a time where women were only considered successful when they were well married. There are many loveable characters throughout the story and I couldn't put it down once I started reading.

This book needs to be made into a film! Thank you for writing another amazing book Camille.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sometimes I'm a little nervous when a book gets great early reviews. But in this instance, those reviews are well deserved. I was captured by Eliza's determination to be a writer and do her part to right perceived wrongs. And Johnny broke my heart with his sorrow and regret over all those wasted years. Throw in a little Red Scare to keep me on the edge of my seat and this book went by too quickly. Great story, important message, and satisfying ending. Check it out! ...more
Tressa (Wishful Endings)
Really good. Review tour stop this week...
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Camille writes poignant stories full of love, grace, and redemption. Some call her stories "more than a romance." Her novels include The Memoir of Johnny Devine, which was awarded Romantic Times' Best Inspirational Romance, Seal of Excellence, and Oregon Christian Writers' Historical Fiction award. ...more

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