Friday, September 30, 2022

The Comeback by Ella Berman


THE COMEBACK is yet another book that I applied SO HARD to get an ARC of when it was just coming out. Obviously, I did not get one, like the book peasant I am, so I had to wait until it came out to get my hands on a copy. Now that I've spent a delirious two days of gut-clenching agony and vindictive elation experiencing the highs and lows of this book, I think I can safely say that THE COMEBACK met all of my expectations and even exceeded them in some ways.

Grace Turner/Hyde is in her early twenties. When she was in her teens, she was an It Girl, one big movie away from being a red carpet A-lister. But then something happened and now she's just a wreck. After disappearing for a year, she's back home in L.A., trying to figure herself out. We see her with her dysfunctional family, ex-husband, and old friends, as she tries to navigate who she is, and what the film director, Able Yorke, reduced her to with years of abuse.

This is simultaneously the story of a damaged girl's rise and fall, like WHITE OLEANDER, and a #MeToo story that ends in triumph (or, at least, something like it). It's hard to write a fully fleshed out and nuanced character who has serious emotional baggage without sensationalizing it, but I feel like Ella Burman did such an amazing job with Grace. Her thoughts and the way she turned to substances to ease her cognitive load really rang true, and there was never a moment that I wasn't in her corner, even when she was making all the wrong choices.

I think anyone who enjoys dramatic coming-of-age stories or female characters with trauma is going to love THE COMEBACK. It's a sympathetic portrait of a very troubled woman, and I loved hearing her story. Just keep in mind that it has loads of triggers for abuse, addiction, and trauma, so if that's something you're not comfortable reading about, you might want to avoid.

I can't wait to see what this author writes next.

4.5 out of 5 stars

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