Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Julie's Review: Seducing Ingrid Bergman


Author: Chris Greenlaugh
Series: None
Publication Date: March 18, 2014
Publisher: St. Martins Press
Pages: 272
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  historical fiction
Rating: 3.75/5
Bottom Line: I enjoyed it more as I was reading it than I do now reflecting on it
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Just get it at the library
Summary: The beautiful Casablanca star, the world's greatest war photographer, and the secret love affair that would change their lives forever . . . in Chris Greenhalgh's Seducing Ingrid Bergman June 1945. When Ingrid Bergman walks into the lobby of the Ritz hotel in Paris, war photographer Robert Capa is enchanted. From the moment he slips a mischievous invitation to dinner under her door, the two find themselves helplessly attracted. Played out against the cafés and nightclubs of post-war Paris and the parties and studios of Hollywood, they pursue an intense and increasingly reckless affair.But the light-hearted Capa, who likes nothing more than to spend his mornings reading in the tub and his afternoons at the racetrack, is not all that he seems. And Ingrid offers the promise of salvation to a man haunted by the horrors of war, his fathers suicide, and the death of a former lover for which he blames himself. Addicted to risk, Capa must wrestle his devils, including gambling and drink, and resist an impulse to go off and photograph yet another war. Meanwhile, Ingrid, trapped in a passionless marriage and with a seven-year-old daughter to bring up, must court scandal and risk compromising her Hollywood career and saintly reputation if their love is to survive. With their happiness and identities at stake, both Capa and Ingrid are presented with terrible choices. ~powells.com  

Review: First of all, let's talk about this cover. It's gorgeous. It evokes the feel of the old movie posters and has a very romantic feel. Seducing Ingrid Bergman pulls you in immediately. I knew nothing of Ingrid Bergman's personal life or had I heard of Robert Capa before reading this book; now I want to know more about their affair.

What Mr. Greenlaugh does beautifully is transport you to Paris towards the end of World War II. He sets the scene and transports you. You can picture the lights, the nightlife, the cafes and feel the mood of the city. He also tells the story from both Ingrid and Robert's POVs, which makes for an interesting peek into an affair. I don't want to say I felt horribly for Ingrid and her marriage to Petter but it seemed more like a business arrangement than a passion filled one. I'm not excusing her behavior but it did make me understand why she might have been infatuated with Capa. I can see why he was beguiled with her because she was a mysterious and glamorous woman.

For me the center of this book was Capa. Bergman was just the object of his affection and she happened to be famous. He had been a war photographer and had his share of heartache. The heartache only exacerbated his need for thrills and danger. He was never going to be able to settle down. I think he knew that and that's why Ingrid being married didn't worry him. He knew it was never going to be long term. He was a wild horse; he couldn't be tamed.

Part of me also wondered if her just calling him Capa instead of Robert made the affair seem less real, less personal. Did it make it more of an affair and love for her? I'm not sure. I have no doubt her feelings for him were real.

Unless you are a fan of either of these people, you might not have an interest in a fictionalized account of their affair.

This is the Hashtag Book Group's book. Join us for our discussion using #SeducingIngrid

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