Beautiful Mess is a beautiful mess of quirky characters brought together by happenstance in the glitz, hypocrisy, and shallowness of Hollywood.
Del Corwyn has a mansion in Malibu, a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and he was a contender for the Best Actor Oscar… in 1978. Choosing the wrong movie project after losing the Academy Award to Richard Dreyfus (YAAY, Goodbye Girl!), led Del’s career into an unending downward spiral for decades. But he’s due for a comeback. The right script will come to him any day. Seventy-eight isn’t too old for a comeback, right?
Nora Jumelle, at twenty-five, is Hollywood’s latest hot property A-lister and a nominee for Best Actress. She’s a troubled soul though, with much darkness from her childhood weighing her down and making her question the point of her success.
Thirty-three-year-old Travis Albrecht was Denny’s most popular server. Now he’s an internet sensation as a wellness coach. Gotta love the man’s ingenuity.
With her hippie past and wild days behind her, Felicia Whitby is now a pastor. Tolerant, and nonjudgmental, Felicia is the voice of reason and exhibits the wisdom one would expect from a sixty-eight-year-old. But, she’s still only human.
The world truly is a small place and these four lives not only intersect, but bonds form—and these bonds will be tested.
Financially strapped, Del is forced to downsize and reign in his lifestyle. While going through boxes which had sat untouched for decades, Del finds a letter penned by his late friend, Marilyn Monroe. The fragile star didn’t have many people in her life she could trust, and Del Corwyn had gone from studio errand boy to close friend and confidante before the star’s tragic death.
Because of this, Marilyn Monroe entrusted Del with a screenplay she wrote, Beautiful Mess, to do with as he saw fit.
Del immediately sees the screenplay as his ticket back into the spotlight and contacts his agent to brainstorm how they will make it happen.
I didn’t like Del Corwyn for the first few chapters. His hubris and narcissism were overwhelming and annoying. At first, I thought it odd Del had never married, but after those few chapters, it was obvious Del Corwyn was far too self-absorbed to be in a relationship beyond a few days.
Or so it would seem.
As the media circus grows around the Beautiful Mess screenplay and the lives of the four main characters become more involved, chinks began to appear in Del’s Hollywood persona. He not only questions his own motives behind publicizing the screenplay but he questions his life.
Two arguments and a crisis will force Del Corwyn to either live by his well-established moral compass… or change it.
Beautiful Mess is well-written and engaging. I liked the premise… which leads to some fun Hollywood name-dropping and cameo appearances, but it is the characters who make this a winning read. The author did a great job of turning off-beat characters into friends… to each other and the reader. (And c’mon! Felicia just has a great name!)
I believe Beautiful Mess would appeal to readers across several genres and I highly recommend it.