Book Review: ‘The Beautiful Strangers: A Novel’ By Camille Di Maio May Be One Of The Best Books Of The Year

The year is 1892 and Kate Morton is in San Diego trying to get rid of her horrible husband Tom. He has agreed to a divorce and she has given him a lot of money. But it’s never enough for him. He has taken off again and she makes her way to the legendary Coranado Hotel. She says there even though she is short on money. Tom catches up with her when she’s planning to commit suicide and he murders her. She’s unable to crossover and becomes the ghost of the hotel. She also has a secret that Tom never knew about. She had a son she gave up for adoption.

The year is 1958 and Kate Morton’s Granddad is not well. He’s having memory issues and is spouting off strange things. In one of his lucid moments he tells Kate to go to San Diego, a movie is being made and they need staff. He tells her to take his Grandmothers ring and sell it and use the money to go. She needs to go tot he Coranado and find the ‘Beautiful Stranger’ for him. Kate has always wanted to leave San Francisco for the movies. She leaves and is robbed of her suitcase. Luckily she had her purse and money on her.

She meets a man named Sean on the way to the hotel who is really nice and helps her out. She ends up getting a job at the hotel and the first person she sees is Marilyn Monroe. The movie Some Like It Hot is filming there. Sean has gotten her a job and they are becoming close until she finds out he has a fiance. They are still friends but she backs off a bit from him. Part of her job is to wait on and assist Marilyn. She soon learns things in regards to her Grandfather, the hotel and his past with it and the city. What she learns will forever change her life and that of her family. Her relationship with Sean also starts to change when he makes a decision.

We also learn Kate the ghosts story and what happened to her over the years and what living in the hotel has been like. There’s a legend that the hotel is haunted by her. Her story is fascinating.

This is one great book. It’s a historical fiction story based on the real life story of Kate Morgan whose body was found on the grounds of the Coronado. The characters are great as is story, which is fiction. It paints a great picture of the times from when the first Kate got there until the second Kate got there. There’s romance, old school Hollywood and a great story of family.

You can pick up the book in stores on Tuesday, March 5th.

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