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The Comeback by Ella Berman
Contemporary fiction

The Comeback

Debut
We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Ella Berman, on your first book!

by Ella Berman

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

Jenna Bush Hager
Co-host, TODAY with Hoda & Jenna

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.

Member thoughts

All (2030)
All (2030)
Love (910)
Like (999)
Dislike (121)
2068 ratings
  • 44% Love
  • 48% Like
  • 6% Dislike
  • Chicago , IL

    I love stories about Hollywood and celebrity culture, but this was much more than that. It’s a story of relationships, loneliness, and coming of age in Hollywood and in the era of #metoo. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Ellington, CT

    I absolutely loved this one! Completely sucked me in, right from the first page and didn’t let go until I closed the book!! Highly recommend! I wouldn’t be surprised to see this as a nominee for BOTY.

  • Norman, OK

    Dark and current and engrossing. Picture any of your early 2000’s Disney Stars in the title role. Also just saw a disliked review from someone offended by a brief portrayal of a pro-life bigot, so LOL

  • Columbia City, IN

    LOVE! An insightful look into a world that seems so different, but may be more similar than we realize. That even those who look like they have it all, may be just as broken as the rest. A MUST READ!

  • NEW HOPE, MN

    I can't say enough about this book. You'll root for Grace, laugh with her, and spew your frustrations, but won't give up on her. Read this, Berman will weave this narrative into your soul. I promise.

  • San Francisco, CA

    I loved this book! The writing was so sharp & smart that I could barely put it down. I felt so connected to Grace's character, almost like she was my own sister or best friend. A great, timely read!

  • Puyallup, WA

    Burnt out teen pop star vibes, gifted kid turned average trope, coupled with being the mentally ill, underachieving sister! This book held up to the acclamation I've seen in the last year, and more.

  • Hoschton, GA

    A thoughtful, emotional look at sexual harassment and assault, celebrity culture, and the way someone copes with pain and tries to find healing. Character-driven and easy to get into — a favorite!

  • Richmond, VA

    This book left me rooting for Grace, furious at the abusive systems we have in place, and dizzied by the emotional gritty writing that didn’t miss a beat. Both familiar and new, I gobbled this up.

  • Albuquerque, NM

    The perfect book for the current #metoo movement. The writing was beautiful, raw, and really put me inside Grace's head. I felt her pain, her struggle, her depression, and her strength and courage.

  • Waterbury, CT

    This was written similar to how Grace’s life played out - a little lost & meandering and then ending strong, purposeful & powerful. I was frustrated & angry FOR Grace as her abuse was revealed.

  • Valdosta , GA

    I loved Grace in all her human frailty. So much life experience richly shared by Berman. This story started strong and I loved it more with every single page. Drama in the best sense of the word.

  • Mantua, NJ

    I thought this book was so real and raw and came just at the perfect time. I hope just like the author said, that this book can help others who have experienced similar traumas. Beautiful book

  • Beverly, MA

    A powerful story that is extremely relevant in todays times of the exposure of powerful men who abused that power and those around them. Absolutely cheering for the main character’s bravery.

  • Omaha, NE

    I didn’t think I could read this book because the sexual abuse hits home. But it is so well written because it explains how the abused feels. It is realistic but gives you hope. A must read!

  • Roanoke, IN

    I can't believe this is a debut! I was simply addicted to the writing in The Comeback. I couldn't stop turning pages and never wanted it to end. I loved so many characters, despite their flaws.

  • Avon, OH

    Ella Berman wrote a stunning debut and I'm excited to see what she writes in the future! Grace's story was heartbreaking and empowering. A difficult read at times, it reflected the world today

  • Van Nuys, CA

    I work in entertainment in Los Angeles and I had to keep putting this book down because it felt too real. Fantastic writing with a beautifully tragic heroine. Best debut I’ve read this year.

  • San Antonio , TX

    This was much darker than i thought it would be. But i like a dark read. I think that more often than not, child stars are victimized in some way and this is a good fictional account of that,

  • Chicago, IL

    This was unputdownable. Gripping and heart wrenching, but also witty and, at times, funny. The perfect novel to emphasize the importance of #MeToo and the complex emotions felt by survivors.

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