... flirts with but never devolves into a formulaic revenge plot, which would cheapen what turns out to be a surprising and satisfying story. First-time novelist Berman deftly captures the entertainment industry in all its fickleness and offers a complex, compassionate portrait of the lasting scars of abuse and trauma.
Berman reveals the gaslighting, emotional abuse, and sexual assault Grace endured with terrifying, heartbreaking clarity, free of gratuitous details. Grace’s frustrating inability to pull herself together is exactly what makes this debut so compelling; it is an ultimately hopeful exploration of dealing with trauma that will have readers looking at celebrity gossip differently.
While a slow first half wears on the reader, the late scenes of confrontation are electrifying. Berman’s searing psychological portrait shows how Grace’s girlhood is corrupted by Able’s rampant ego and the industry’s unencumbered patriarchy.