The Comeback

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Pub Date 11 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 18 Apr 2024

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They say she owes him everything.

Now she wants to burn it all to the ground.

Grace Turner was one movie away from Hollywood’s A-List. So no one understood why, at the height of her career and on the eve of her first Golden Globe nomination, she disappeared.

Now, one year later, Grace is back in Los Angeles and ready to reclaim her life on her own terms.

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 knows there’s only one way she’ll be free of the secret that’s already taken so much from her.

The Comeback is a moving and provocative story of justice—a true page-turner about a young woman finding the strength and power of her voice.

They say she owes him everything.

Now she wants to burn it all to the ground.

Grace Turner was one movie away from Hollywood’s A-List. So no one understood why, at the height of her career and on...

Advance Praise

'Beautifully written and compulsively readable…At its core, this book is about redemption, grace, and pain.' – Jenna Bush Hager

'A novel so full-blooded, so humane, that the pages feel almost warm to the touch. A clarifying, purifying chronicle of a promising young woman gone astray and the story of her comeback. Grace Turner can do it. You can do it, too.' – A.J. Finn

Ella Berman's debut novel is a Hollywood tale that packs a wallop...the reader is taken on a journey of self-discovery and redemption...Grace Turner dreams big, suffers and soars. A stunning debut. - Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife

A propulsive, timely study of a complicated young woman, trying to put herself back together again in Hollywood's glare. Berman's storytelling is at times darkly funny, at times rage-inducing, always gripping. I read it in 24 hours. - Laura Hankin, author of Happy and You Know It

A compelling tale of power and justice. - Harper's Bazaar

Berman’s novel of a young woman recruited far too early in her life into the Hollywood machine may be the smartest book I’ve read in the past few years… - Lithub

'Beautifully written and compulsively readable…At its core, this book is about redemption, grace, and pain.' – Jenna Bush Hager

'A novel so full-blooded, so humane, that the pages feel almost warm...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781035900916
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 14 members

Featured Reviews

This felt like a slow-burn while I was reading it but, on finishing, I think that was a deliberate decision by Berman. This is certainly not the first 'me too' novel around but many of them that I've read have a sort of thriller-y pose with some kind of mystery or secret to be uncovered at their heart that gives a page-turner vibe. This one doesn't. It takes its topic seriously and with the gravity it deserves, and refuses to be derailed with Hollywood soap opera plotlines or mystery tropes.

Instead this focuses closely on Grace Turner, an English schoolgirl of just fourteen who is 'discovered' and flown to Hollywood to star in a trilogy of films. Her parents go with her but are unable to shield Grace from the vagaries of the film industry - and the inevitable power play of the director, Able, for whom she is a muse.

Shifting through time, this picks up Grace in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction at just twenty-four and with a failed marriage behind her. Old beyond her years, she is a flawed protagonist and narrator but one to whom I warmed greatly. I especially liked her negotiations that enable her to call out abuse done to her without being reduced to no more than a powerless victim - a hard position to come to. This is also excellent on Grace's difficult relationships with her parents, her sister and friends. An intelligent novel about Hollywood and gender dynamics - exactly what I wanted to read.

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I really enjoyed this book overall, to show how Hollywood can take so much from a person but also showing the weight of control versus having your own control was very empowering.

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A searing, visceral account of #metoo sex abuse in Hollywood. In this stunning debut novel we first meet indie filmstar Grace Turner in nondescript streets lined with bungalows in Anaheim, LA. She has fled from Hollywood to live with her dysfunctional family in mysterious circumstances. Eventually Grace, who was discovered by movie mogul Able Yorke aged 14, at an English school, returns to Hollywood to stage her comeback.
Having battled against addiction, and unable to sustain friendships, a marriage or achieve any understanding with her family, Grace is brittle and broken. The desire to avenge Able Yorke for sexually abusing her is strong. Unlike other books which tackle patriarchal sex abuse and misogyny in film land, Grace's disintegration, cased by years of being overworked and gas lighted, is honestly portrayed. We buy into her distress, her numbness and her overwhelming challenge in confronting the past.

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Oh I loved this so much. I’d seen the writer was a Reece Witherspoon author and wanted to read that book so was thrilled to get the chance review this. A very strong 5/5 and I’m telling everyone to buy her first book (I’ve got it lined up too!).
This is a story we all know but it feels like it’s so much more personal. It’s written well. It does not victim blame and it shows how easily such things can suddenly be part of someone’s life.

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I absolutely love a good Hollywood tale. This looks excellent and the cover also is very eye dat hung as well. I think this would make a great book club pick and I cannot wait to share my full thoughts and review on this one. I’m so excited to read what happened to this Hollywood ingenue and how she reclaims her power back.

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This book is beautifully written and powerful. The pace is slow, but I think eels Berman does that deliberately and it makes you become invested in the story.

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This was a tough book to read but really enjoyable.

Grace is a young actress, taken under the wing of mercurial director Able, and together they work well to make some amazing films - both taking their place in the spotlight.

However what we quickly come to realise is just how damaging and abusive this relationship is, and the impact this has had on Grace.

When Able is due to receive a lifetime achievement award, Grace is asked to introduce him and she intends to make her comeback!

As I say, this was a difficult read and I really felt for Grace but absolutely loved her character and determination to survive.

Thanks to Netgalley and Aria and Aries for an ARC in exchange for an honest review

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I found the Comeback to be a unique book....I haven't read anything quite like it before and found the topic that it deals with very relevant.

It's based around Grace Turner, a young movie star who was a child prodigy. We meet her after she has taken a break from the main arena and has disappeared for a year.
As she seeks to take control of her life, we follow her story and discover why she has gone into hiding and the secrets she is keeping.
Will justice be served for what has been to her? Is revenge better served cold?

A very engaging read which reminds us that everything comes at a cost...including fame and fortune.

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Grace Turner was plucked from obscurity as an 14 year-old English Schoolgirl to almost instant fame as a child star in Hollywood under the wing of the enigmatic director Able Yorke. 8 years later she's been pushed by the Svengali-like Able to the verge of becoming an A-list actor, Having achieved her first Golden Globes nomination, she suddenly disappears.
Reappearing in L.A. a year later a disturbed, and disturbing to many people,young woman,she's asked to present Able with a Lifetime Achievement Award,a request that throws her life and that of others into turmoil.

This is quite an amazing debut from Ella Berman. There have been many "me too" books published but this is by far the most powerful and convincing,it could almost be a very well-written autobiography, Grace is often hard to like,she's spiky,rude and hostile,even towards her family, The book is full of flawed characters, either predatory and manipulative or beaten up by life and bitter and twisted as a result. A couple of the latter have the chance to get revenge and grow stronger,their wrestling with their battle to find the strength to do so is a big part of the book.

An excellent read and an amazing debut.

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If you read one book this year let it be this one. I cannot recommend this enough. It isn't just a me too book but goes well beyond that. The book shows a view of the cost and impact of abuse. It shows the grey lines of abuse and how it is never just limited to a physical abuse and the role of power dynamics. It also shows the impact of abuse on the people around, including that of the perpetrators. It is also a commentary on art and artist and beautifully talks about the power of speaking out. In a parallel story the book also talks about other forms of bullying and abuse and commentary on women.

A definite read and probably the best I have read in this genre a while. The book pulls you in and not for a minute did I lose interest. It managed to weave me in and hook me in till the last page. Looking forward to more by this author!

Thank you Aria & Aries and NetGalley for this e-arc in exchange of my unbiased review!

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An engrossing, moving story of identity and perception that keeps the reader intrigued. The characters feel messy and real, and the way events unfold is painful and hopeful all at once.

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