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The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst
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really liked it
bookshelves: netgalley

Thomas Cleary is a young newspaper journalist who has come to Los Angeles to start his career afresh after stumbling on some reporting for the New York Times. He’s a young man from a working class family who made it through Harvard on an athletic scholarship for running, his degree was hard fought for. He’s determined that this time things will work out.

He’s sent on a story to get quotes or any fresh information on for an obituary on a wealthy notorious film producer. He meets the film producer’s daughter, Lily, in her antiques shop and she takes him under her wing. She not only gives him an interview but invites him to a dinner where he will meet those people who her father mingled with and knew best.

He is good looking and charming in an unassuming way and he’s welcomed into this rich indulgent world. On one of the evenings of a party he gets the incorrect address and meets Matilda, a young, 19 year old woman who has never left her Bel-Air estate. He falls in love with he and they meet often but only at the estate. When the couple are discovered Thomas is banned from the home and told never to return. Lily, for reasons which are mysterious, arranges for the couple to go away for a month to a forgotten home in Hawaii that her father owned. Here Matilda starts to stretch her wings, finding people she befriends and doesn’t include Thomas.

Thomas is a good sleuth and spends lots of his time alone in Hawaii piecing together the puzzle of exactly who Matilda is and why she is being kept from society, actually hidden away. He writes an article, which he doesn’t intend to publish, which explains everything and would divulge all of the family secrets.

When they return home to LA they go their separate ways because of a misunderstanding and Thomas and the family come to an agreement.

The writing flowed well and kept me interested. The beautiful descriptions of Hawaii as well as the incredible estates of Bel-air are well described.
There are lots of interesting personalities besides Thomas and Matilda, including David, Lily’s brother, Carol and Charles close friends and a multitude of others. Thomas is my favorite character and the most believable. The circumstances that he finds himself in during different periods in the story are a puzzle which he eventually solves. Matilda’s character was the most difficult to believe, but still interesting in her sheltered innocence.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good read with a mystery that begs to be solved.
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Reading Progress

August 8, 2015 – Started Reading
August 8, 2015 – Shelved
August 14, 2015 – Finished Reading

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