It’s 1995, Los Angeles, and 32-year-old Marilyn Monroe impersonator, Kelly Jean Cavanaugh values her happily-ever-after monogamous marriage above all else. She and her actor husband, Brad, make ends meet with the help of Kelly’s impersonating side-job based in Southern California. Though Kelly (as Marilyn) is worshipped and adored at cocktail parties and conventions from Hollywood to San Diego and Palm Springs, her husband’s affection and attention have waned. After their seven years together Brad wants a divorce.
Devastated, Kelly persuades Brad to go to couple’s counseling — again. Meanwhile, she plots to get even the only way she knows how—by using Marilyn’s feminine wiles to embark on an illicit affair and soothe her self-esteem. Her plan backfires when she falls for her paramour.
As Kelly’s coming apart over her crumbling marriage and her star-crossed love affair, the spirit of Marilyn unexpectedly shows up, infiltrating Kelly’s psyche in dreams, voices in her head, and even writings in her journal. Kelly doesn’t believe in channeling or spirit guides, and there’s only so much a spirit guide can do when a person isn’t willing to receive input. Can Marilyn save Kelly from herself?
Join the impetuous Kelly Jean Cavanaugh as she recounts how Hollywood’s forever-reigning goddess of love helped her find her way to recovery, post-divorce and beyond.
Julie Grower –
Holly Butler’s debut novel reads like the journal entries of my late ‘20s-early ‘30s. Her character’s journey of self-discovery and to self-sufficiency is an authentic and honest look at being a young (ish) female in the 21st century. We so often take our talents and wonderful attributes for granted unless they are mirrored back to us by others, especially men, if that is our orientation.
Having Marilyn Monroe as a spirit guide was an ingenious way to counteract the foolish judgement of the protagonist, represent her higher self or better angel. I found myself rooting for Kelly, identifying with her, cursing her, and finally being as proud of her as a soul-sister can be.
Put up your feet, grab a cup of tea and immerse yourself in the life of Kelly Kavanaugh. You’ll be glad you did!
Karla Self –
I just finished the book last night at midnight. I couldn’t put it down! I curled up next to a fire and walked through Kelly Jean Cavanaugh’s journey with her. I kept pulling for her. I wanted to be her friend, nudging her in a different direction. Her words flow so easily, I could almost hear her voice, and Marilyn’s. She was a fast talker. I loved her wit. I worried about her not understanding the emotional abuse that had become a part of her norm. She was doing so many things that we don’t want our daughters to do and learned so much the hard way. She was believable and I felt her struggle. I loved the descriptions of her travels and her search for higher meaning. She was like a whirlwind, moving so fast through life and love that she didn’t stop to see the value in her own self worth. Her life is a lesson.
Victoria Tallentire –
Holly Butler hits a home run with her portrayal of Kelly Cavanaugh and Kelly’s alter-ego, Marilyn Monroe. Even when Kelly makes questionable choices, she, like Marilyn, bravely navigates her emotional and external world, taking chances while maintaining her authenticity. The book is scathingly honest and at the same time a fun ride. Kelly’s adventures are both poignant and madcap as Butler lays bare Kelly’s sometimes erratic but relatable internal life. Marilyn enters quietly, at first as a muse, then becoming a not-always-reliable spirit guide. As the book gathers steam so does Marilyn, offering up often unwanted advice with a knowing perspective. Kelly is an every-woman heroine, even if every woman doesn’t don a platinum wig for her day job.