Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman

Review by Shwetha H S

The much hyped Bergman book tends to fall thud, and it is nobody’s fault. As the name of the book says, “Almost Famous Women” is a collection of imaginary incidents in lives of certain real women who just missed the train to create history. These women were best at what they did or notorious indeed. Just because we had never ever heard of them from anyone or in any of the history classes, we find it difficult to make a connection with each woman in the book. Mind you, these are real women in imaginary situations and characters around them. This is author’s perspective.

What is in stock for you in this book?

  1. How Daisy and Violet, conjoined twin Hilton girls, struggle to survive in the showbiz.
  2. Joe, a womanizing, cross-dressing heiress, who comes across to be a monster fighting her own demons.
  3. Norma Millay, an overshadowed talented sister of a musical prodigy.
  4. Romaine Brooks, a talented painter becoming finicky in her old age.
  5. Hazel Marion Eaton Watkins and her stunts in motordrome.
  6. Allegra Byron is an exception here. She was an illegitimate child of Lord Byron and died at the age of four due to fever. She was a child; not a woman.
  7. Lucia Joyce, a dancer, who liked to express every feeling and emotion through her dance movements, whose ego was mighty hurt by many men.
  8. Butterfly McQueen, an actress, a revolutionist, an atheist in the god-fearing Christian community. She didn’t bother to follow the crowd.
  9. Dolly Wilde, niece of Oscar Wilde. People expected her to turn out to be writer like her uncle, just because she looked like him! A wanna-be war hero, succumbed to cancer. While reading about Dolly, you might think that she and Romaine Brooks might have known each other.
  10. Beryl Markham, a high society divorcee, a socialite and horse breeder who was almost bankrupt.
  11. Women of Timothy Island and their matriarchal systems.
  12. Tiny Davis, an ambitious saxophonist, with a band of mixed race performers, a taboo in olden days.

Bergman uses different way of narration which will bore you. This might make you want to put down the book and never pick it up again, but don’t do it. Because, they were Almost Famous Women and they should not be turned down again.

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