The sensational third novel from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse.
One winter's afternoon on Hampstead Heath in 1980, Elise Morceau meets Constance Holden and quickly falls under her spell. Connie is bold and alluring, a successful writer whose novel is being turned into a major Hollywood film. Elise follows Connie to LA, a city of strange dreams and swimming pools and late-night gatherings of glamorous people. But whilst Connie thrives on the heat and electricity of this new world where everyone is reaching for the stars and no one is telling the truth, Elise finds herself floundering. When she overhears a conversation at a party that turns everything on its head, Elise makes an impulsive decision that will change her life forever.
Three decades later, Rose Simmons is seeking answers about her mother, who disappeared when she was a baby. Having learned that the last person to see her was Constance Holden, a reclusive novelist who withdrew from public life at the peak of her fame, Rose is drawn to the door of Connie's imposing house in search of a confession . . .
From the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist and The Muse, The Confession is a luminous, powerful and deeply moving novel about secrets and storytelling, motherhood and friendship, and how we lose and find ourselves.
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Review This Product
Tue, 24 Sep 2019 | Review by: Breakaway R
A woman’s search for her mother.
This is a story about complex relationships, particularly female ones.
In 1980, Elise Morceau had a fateful meeting on Hampstead Heath, with Constance Holden, a fascinating, older woman who is a very successful novelist. Elise soon falls under her spell and moves in with her. It is a Svengali/Trilby situation, and in this passionate relationship Connie has complete power over the younger woman. Elise follows her to LA where Connie’s latest book is being made into a major movie, but she soon starts to hate the glamorous lifestyle of Hollywood and is jealous of Connie’s relationships, particularly with the actress who is playing the leading role. The result of Elise’s unhappiness leads her to take an action which inevitably ends in tragedy.
Decades later in 2017, Rose Simmons, in her mid-thirties, decides to search for the mother that she never knew and who remained a complete mystery. Her father won’t talk about his wife except to finally give her one clue, that her mother was in a long and close relationship with the novelist Constance Holden.
Rose decides to apply for a job as Connie’s personal assistant, under an assumed name, hoping she will, at last, be able to find out about what happened to her mother, Elise Morceau. The unravelling of the story reveals complex female relationships which are examined in microscopic detail.
The novel has crisp and flowing dialogue. The characters of the three main women are well-drawn, although the men are less convincing. I found the plot rather over-written at times, particularly towards the end, which began to drag. Despite this I would recommend this book as a compelling read.
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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