The Actress by Amy Sohn paints the rise and fall of a sordid Hollywood marriage

Actress-JacketTold with slick pacing and seductive allure, Amy Sohn’s novel, The Actress charts the rise and fall of a Hollywood marriage. Sohn, who has written pilots for HBO and holds rank as a pop culture pundit on networks such as VH1 and MTV, uses her knowledge as a Hollywood insider to paint an astute portrait of a wide-eyed ingenue thrown into the abyss of the studio system.

The Actress follows indie newcomer Maddy Freed and her relationship with the enigmatic and sexy Steven Weller, a Hollywood Maxim de Winter type who bears more than a little resemblance to Tom Cruise/George Clooney.

Sohn notes in her author acknowledgements that The Actress was inspired in part by revisiting Daphne Du Maurier’s celebrated novel, Rebecca and also by Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad, and it shows. The mystery and allure that ripples through out the novel makes it hard to put down. Maddy Freed, an outsider to the Hollywood system, proves to be a fitting entryway into the strange fantasy world of Tinseltown.

Sex scenes galore are peppered through out the book, but told with Sohn’s carefully cultivated technique, they aren’t overly gratuitous, rather the intimacy that takes place between the two characters is shown through the prism of sex, leaving both the protagonist and reader intoxicated by the act of seduction. Just as Maddy is whisked away into an explosive love affair, so is the reader. The mystery that carries the novel along to its final end will leave you unable to put the book down, making it a perfect beach read along other books like Peyton Place, Hollywood Wives and The Valley of the Dolls.

4/5 stars. 


The Actress 


Amy Sohn 

Simon & Schuster 

(1st edition)  July 1st, 2014 

352 pages