Marjorie Morningstar (book review)

A book review from The Movie Snob.

Marjorie Morningstar, by Herman Wouk (1955).  I had never read any Herman Wouk before, and my only mental association with him was a massive miniseries from my youth based on his novel The Winds of War.  Then recently I read an article that gave a big thumbs-up to this other Wouk novel, and I thought I would give it a try.  Marjorie Morningstar is a coming-of-age tale about a Jewish girl named Marjorie Morgenstern.  Although the Great Depression is on, Marjorie’s parents are fairly affluent, and she lives with them in a nice apartment in New York City, where she commutes to a less-than-stellar school called Hunter College.  Marjorie has two main ambitions: she wants to be an actress (with the stage name Marjorie Morningstar), and she wants to fall in love.  And for over 750 pages (in my cheap paperback edition), we follow the ups and downs of her career in both departments, meeting a variety of colorful characters along the way.  I never got bored with it, which is saying something for such a long novel, and I really rather enjoyed it.  It’s a bit old-fashioned, but that’s a plus in my book.  I say give it a try.

P.S.  A 1958 movie based on the novel starred Natalie Wood in the title role.


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