The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst

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Format: Paperback
Publisher: MIRA Books
Published: 8th October 2015
Pages: 318 Pages

The Blurb
Family secrets, forbidden love, and the true price of wealth.

Following the death of Joel Goodman, reporter Thomas Clearly is sent to interview the legendary film-maker’s daughter, Lily.

Thomas is a small-town boy and when Lily invites him to a dinner party, he gains access to the exclusive upper echelons of Hollywood society. As he enters a world of private jets and sprawling mansions, his life and career take off beyond his wildest dreams.

Then he meets Matilda Duplaine.

Beautiful and mysterious, Matilda has spent her entire life within the walls of her powerful father’s Bel-Air estate and Thomas is immediately entranced by her. But what starts as an enchanted romance soon threatens to destroy their lives and the lives of everyone around them.

Rating: 5/5


The Review
Thank you to MIRA Books for sending me a copy to read and review.

Thomas Clearly is a reporter for the Times and after given a project about the late film-maker’s Joel Goodman life, his job becomes more exciting. He’s introduced to Joel’s daughter Lily where she subjects him to the life of luxury – who could refuse? During his evenings of gluttony he unexpectedly meets Matilda, David Duplaine’s daughter.

Thomas eventually becomes infatuated by the secretive Matilda Duplaine and wants to spend as much time with her as possible, he has lots of questions he needs answers to.

I have to admit that the first half of the novel took a while to get going because you essentially just learn about the glitterati of Las Vegas and their gluttony. They all had jobs in the film industry and lavished in having money. It was interesting to see how Thomas would cope with the new ways considering he was used to his tiny flat and mediocre life. He adapted well, but still came across like a fish out of water. For me, it was nice to see Thomas gaining predicdent in his line of work, he was a good writer, but maybe just needed the push to be known. Lily used her contacts and money to help Thomas succeed and although it came across like she was playing Thomas, I generally think she had a soft spot for him.

The main focus of the novel was the life of Matilda and her secrets. She’s held ‘captive’ in her home and hasn’t left the grounds for so many years – she lives in a bubble. Thomas falls in love with her and agrees to take her away. When they runaway to Hawaii all things change. Matilda is no longer a recluse and wants to explore the world, alone. Thomas understandably gets upset, but what does he expect? I personally feel he was in love with the old Matilda because he had all the control, and when she explores he doesn’t like it.

Thomas also tries to figure out why Matilda was held captive for so long and who actually are her parents? This was done in a great way because you don’t have any inclination to who Matilda’s parents are, but you really want to know who, it has houses lots of mystery.

The novel has been loosely compared to The Great Gatsby, but I wouldn’t say they were similar. However, The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine is perfect in its own right and probably shouldn’t have been compared in the first place – I really enjoyed the novel and suspect you all will too!

Mystery, secrets and infatuation – 3 great ways to describe The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine.


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