James Frey Makes a Comeback! – Krista DeCamillis

by capreviewroom

Bright Shiny Morning, written by James Frey is a fascinating novel. The novel focuses on four main characters, while the building of Los Angeles is taking place. Old Man Joe is a homeless man who lives in the bathroom behind a Mexican Restaurant on Venice Beach. Amberton Parker is a wealthy actor, living in a grand mansion in Bel-Air with his wife and children. Esperanza was born on American soil, and lives with her family; she works as a maid for a very wealthy woman. Maddie and Dylan move from their home of Ohio to Los Angeles, in hopes of starting over and living a happier life.

I was a little bit skeptical of reading this novel after Frey’s scandal with his novel A Million Little Pieces: A fabricated story that was supposed to be non-fiction. However, right when I started this novel I knew I was going to love it. I love Los Angeles, so the setting of this novel was perfect for me. I was able to recognize each setting that Frey described, which made it more realistic. I loved how he told many different stories, and broke them up into small sections; this made me want to keep reading to find out the outcome of each of these characters’ lives.

While reading Bright Shiny Morning, I realized that the symbolism in the title was very significant. Many of these characters had troubled lives, which were hidden by the beauty and wealth of Los Angeles. The title is very happy, positive, and purposeful, however, many of these stories were the opposite. A lot of the issues were hidden behind beaches, boardwalks, mansions, and loving relationships.

I would highly recommend reading this book; it is not only a fun read, but brings awareness to many social issues that are prominent in today’s society, including: addiction, sexual identity, and poverty. Frey has made a noteworthy comeback.

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