5 Gold Stars, Top Pick from RT Book Reviews and 2015 RT Reviewers' Choice Nominee
Love can't rewrite the pages of your past, but it can cover a multitude of sins-one page at a time.
In 1953, desperation forces war widow, Eliza Saunderson, to take a job writing the memoir of ex-Hollywood heartthrob, Johnny Devine. Rumor has it Johnny can seduce anything in a skirt quicker than he can hail a cab. But now, the notorious womanizer claims he's born again. And so he seems to be. Eliza soon finds herself falling for the humble, grace-filled man John has become-a man who shows no sign of returning her feelings.
No sign, that is, until she discovers something John never meant for her to see.
When Eliza's articles on minority oppression land her on McCarthy's communist hit list, both John and Eliza become entangled in a HUAC investigation that threatens both John's book and Eliza's future. To clear her name, Eliza must solve a family mystery. She also needs to convince John that real love-not the Hollywood illusion-can cover a multitude of sins. But just when the hope of love becomes reality, a troubling discovery confirms Eliza's worst fears. Like the happy façade many Americans cling to, had it all been empty lies? Is there a love she can truly believe in?
The Memoir of Johnny Devine is a dramatic story-within-a-story of a bad boy reformed and a good girl in need of reform. It's a powerful tale of love, redemption, intrigue, and the miracle of deliberate grace.
"Sharp, on-point writing immediately engages and makes it difficult to tear one's attention away from this emotionally riveting novel. The romantic tension sizzles nearly from the beginning, and readers will often find themselves breathless from the sheer delight of it."
-RT Book Reviews, 5 Gold Stars, Top Pick
2015 Reviewers' Choice Award Nominee for Inspirational Romance
"I love this story! The golden era of movies, a Clark Gable bad-boy turned good, and a woman with a broken heart learning to love again. A beautifully written story of redemption and second chances, this Hollywood romance is one that will leave you with hope. A fantastic weekend escape!"
-Susie May Warren
RITA- and Christy Award-winning, best-selling author of the Christiansen Family series
"Film noir and gripping romantic tension leap from the pages of The Memoir of Johnny Devine like a perfectly choreographed dance. Camille Eide's writing is poignant and lovely from the first page to the last."
Award-winning author of Stardust and A Flying Affair
"Combining the romance of classic Hollywood, the intrigue of the Cold War era, and a stirring spiritual message, The Memoir of Johnny Devine is unforgettable. Eliza, John, and all the supporting characters are compelling, and Camille Eide's strong and evocative writing brings the story to life. A novel to savor."
Award-winning author of Through Waters Deep
"There is not a false beat in this engaging story. Eide has managed to create an intricate plot that flows effortlessly from one page to the next. Full of insight, intrigue, romance, and faith, The Memoir of Johnny Devine is so well constructed, it makes me want to go right back to the first page and read it again. Highly recommended!"
Screenwriter, co-author of Traces of Mercy and Finding Mercy
"Camille has written another heartthrob of a novel, with an inspiring beat of true love, beauty, and grace. The Memoir of Johnny Devine takes us from the Golden Age of Hollywood through World War II and into the Red Scare of the early 1950s, as it weaves a story of both despair and redemption. It's a page-turner-literally a one-sitting story that I couldn't put down until the very last word!"
Christy Award-winning and #1-bestselling author
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Camille Eide has done it again: woven a beautiful, fervent love story involving believable characters with whom you love to engage. From the outset, I was intrigued by the main players on this stage. Eliza is a strong woman of integrity, principles, and good old-fashioned grit. The way we meet her in the opening pages draws you in, stirring sympathy for her situation while simultaneously cheering her for her resolve. John’s charisma is so genuine, he manages to sweep you off your feet before you’ve realized it. Yet it becomes apparent this man is more – way more – than charm and good looks. Through these pages he lives up to his profession of faith, displaying a testimony as authentic as his appeal. The supporting characters are equally interesting, especially Millie. This dear, senior housekeeper has a sharp eye and an even sharper wit. She definitely gets some of the best lines in this tale. The story is an inspirational romance, yet like Eide’s other works, the elements of faith are composed within the story in a complementary way. God is ever present and faithful without being heavy-handed. He is at work through the lives of the characters. Thus, without feeling “preached at”, the reader is invited to consider the possibilities of how God may also be at work in his or her world. Set in the early fifties, this narrative communicates ideas and themes that are relevant to contemporary settings. Will you remain true to what you believe? What is family? How do you live a life of interconnectedness versus isolation? My favorite motif of this book was how it dealt with guilt, shame, and the amazing wonder of grace. There is sometimes a fine line between guilt and shame. The former can be of benefit when it motivates toward repentance, forgiveness, and transformation. Shame, however, is nothing but destructive. Eide does an excellent job of demonstrating how these characters work through both guilt and shame to accept grace – grace offered by God, and eventually by one another.
Camille Eide weaves together the stories of a fallen Hollywood star and an young widow set in the midst of McCarthyism and the slowly changing ideologies of a post-WWII world. A slow burning romance, hidden secrets, a before-her-time protagonist, and an unvarnished look at 1950s, make for an intriguing historical read. I adore 1950s fashion and style, but other than a chapter in my U.S. history textbook or watching I Love Lucy or films on the Turner Classic Movies station, I haven't really looked into life in the 1950s. Eide doesn't idealize the era: McCarthyism, Communism, and social injustice are touched on throughout the novel. Utilizing historical fiction, Eide brings the era to life in a way that textbooks can't. The only criticism I have is that Eliza, our heroine, has very modern views and when she states them, it can feel a bit too much like a contemporary critique of the societal norms of the 1950s. However, I do think it is believable that women like Eliza existed in the 1950s --I could easily see her supporting the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s (it wasn't just African Americans fighting for desegregation, after all). Johnny, the focus of the fictional memoir and former Hollywood heartthrob, and Eliza both struggle with overcoming the guilt and the shame of their pasts. Hence, the romance is slow, building as they both get to know each other through their conversations and working together on Johnny's memoir, The Devine Truth. Most of Johnny's backstory is revealed in the dictation of his memoir, while Eliza's is revealed as she unravels her parents' mysterious past. I also enjoyed seeing little excerpts of The Devine Truth introducing most of the chapters of this book. I thought that was a nice touch. After this satisfying read, I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more of Eide's books! [Disclosure: I received a copy of this book as a participant of Singing Librarian Books' blog tour for review purposes.]
I have enjoyed each book I have read by this author, and she certainly does not disappoint with this one. She has written a story that pulls you into Hollywood during the 1950's and the era of the Cold War and brings that time alive through her story line and the characters. It is also a story showing God's love and forgiveness in a beautiful way. I was given a copy of this book in return for an honest review, and it is another one from this author that is a must read and that I definitely recommend.
Combining the romance of classic Hollywood, the intrigue of the Cold War era, and a stirring spiritual message, The Memoir of Johnny Devine is unforgettable. Eliza, John, and all the supporting characters are compelling, and Camille Eide’s strong and evocative writing brings the story to life. A novel to savor.
I was privileged to read this story from the first snippets through the final draft. From the beginning, I was mesmerized by the concept, and being a lover of all things nostalgic, Camille – who usually writes contemporary – astounded me with her talent for reaching back into the pages of time and delivering a story that not only resonates, but is packed with wonderful romantic tension, just like the old films I love to catch on Netflix. Here’s my short endorsement, which doesn’t do this story justice at all. “Film noir and gripping romantic tension leap from the pages of The Memoir of Johnny Devine like a perfectly choreographed dance. Camille Eide’s writing is poignant and lovely from the first page to the last.”
Hollywood, glamour, fame, and misery. When Eliza and John meet, they have no idea how much they will end up needing each other. I LOVE the setting that Camille Eide has chosen for this novel. Post WWII in California, with a Hollywood star, the "Red Scare", and a woman pushing toward her dream even if it doesn't fit the mold people expect. I instantly fell in love with the main characters of this book. Eliza with her forthright attitude and determination to give a voice to those who have none. John with his brooding nature and all encompassing charm. And we can't forget Millie, she is definitely one of my very favorite secondary characters of ALL time! Her compassion and heart for Jesus and for John is so very tender and precious. Filled with redemption, romance, heartache, and forgiveness, this book has truly "You have bewitched me, body and soul." With the turmoils of the times, fear of communist spies in America, distrust and hidden pasts, can Eliza trust anyone? Will her life be torn apart just as she begins to feel safe? Find out for yourself when you read The Memoir of Johnny Devine. I received a complimentary copy of The Memoir of Johnny Devine from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.