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Quick take

Think Hollywood is all glamour? In this redemptive read, a child actor reckons with the abuse their industry allows.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_HeavyRead

    Heavy read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological

    Psychological

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_NonLinear

    Nonlinear timeline

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Drug&AlcoholUse

    Drug & alcohol use

Why I love it

I’ve read to escape—to embark on joyous journeys that take me away from the realities of the everyday—since I was a little girl. But like many, in the darkest moments of the pandemic I’ve found myself struggling to get lost in books, my anxieties outweighing the power of the word.

That is, until I came across a copy of Ella Berman’s debut novel The Comeback. This beautifully written and compulsively readable book broke me from my pandemic book blockage! On the night I began the book—reading for the first time in weeks—I kept my iPad aglow, reading late into the night while my husband slept beside me. Thank you Ella! Thank you Grace! I wanted to yell.

In The Comeback, our protagonist Grace Turner is broken and living with her parent’s in Anaheim after escaping Los Angeles. When she fled without a word, seemingly overnight, she left behind fame, addiction, her loving and young husband, and the abuse she suffered for eight years at the hands of the manipulative director that made her a star. After realizing she can’t hide from her life, Grace returns to LA. Armed with a secret and nothing left to lose, she must decide if and how she will fight back.

Berman astonishingly began writing the novel before the #MeToo movement—and the novel takes advantage of the distance afforded by fiction to brilliantly continue the important conversation. With nuance, wit, and humor, Berman weaves a narrative that is light and exciting, even while addressing difficult topics. At its core, this book is about redemption, grace, and pain. It is the perfect summer read.

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Synopsis

At the height of her career and on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination, teen star Grace Turner disappeared.

Now, tentatively sober and surprisingly numb, Grace is back in Los Angeles after her year of self-imposed exile. She knows the new private life she wants isn't going to be easy as she tries to be a better person and reconnect with the people she left behind.

But when Grace is asked to present a lifetime achievement award to director Able Yorke—the man who controlled her every move for eight years—she realizes that she can't run from the secret behind her spectacular crash and burn for much longer. And she's the only one with nothing left to lose.

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Preview

Get an early look from the first pages of The Comeback.

Read a sample →

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